Wichita Machinists Union president compares vaccine mandate to being a 'modern day Jew'
TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) - On Friday a special legislative hearing was held in Topeka where several state lawmakers met with members of the public to discuss the vaccine mandate pressed by the Biden administration.
One person who was asked to speak was the president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District Lodge #70, Cornell Beard.
“We’re basically saying you’re the modern-day Jew,” Beard told the committee on Friday. “You’re gonna wear that star … and we don’t give a damn if you complain about it or not.”
Beard spoke for roughly five minutes before the people in attendance applauded his words.
Several state representatives and senators also agreed with Beard's comparison to what companies like Spirit and Textron have enforced following the executive order to have all federal contracted workers to be vaccinated by December 8, 2021
Committee Chair Brenda Landwehr, of Wichita said she agrees with his comparison saying, ..."you're right and I thank your saying that," regarding the comments made by Beard of comparing mask wearing and the stance of being against the mandate similar to being "a modern-day racist."
The committee all agreed that if they could do something to fix the mandate they would, but that they don't have the power to do so.
The deadline currently for Textron and Spirit employees is as follows:
Spirit AeroSystems Inc. notified employees by email on Wednesday that, because of its role on multiple defense programs, it has determined it must abide by the vaccine mandate of President Joe Biden as a federal contractor.
“By December 8, 2021 (the date set forth in the Executive Order), all U.S.-based Spirit employees are required to be fully vaccinated in order to maintain employment with Spirit,” the email read. “ In order to be fully vaccinated by the deadline, you must receive your first dose of the Moderna vaccine by October 27, 2021, your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by November 3, 2021, and, if available, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine by November 24, 2021."
A statement from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers says:
“The IAM strongly condemns the offensive and inappropriate comparison of the mandates to the Holocaust made by a member to the Kansas legislature. Regardless of one’s views on divisive political issues, there is never a place for this type of hurtful rhetoric. A bedrock principle of the labor movement is an unwavering commitment to our core values of equality, respect, fairness and dignity—for all people. We recognize the right of our members in a free society to voice their opinions, but it must always be based on the spirit of goodwill toward everyone.”