City workers call on NYC to end what they call double standards and lift the vaccination mandate

NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams faces more pushback for his decision to lift the vaccine mandate for professional athletes and entertainers, but not frontline workers.

City workers were out in force Tuesday in Queens, calling it a double standard, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.

“It’s cold here, and these terms are colder,” said teacher Aquila Norris.

Norris was among the city workers and supporters who stood in the freezing cold with an impassioned appeal to Adams.

“End these terms now,” said Michael Kane of Teachers for Choice.

Many gathered at Flushing Meadows Corona Park to demand the city reinstate and compensate its frontline workers who lost their jobs following the decision not to get vaccinated.

Among them is a proud FDNY firefighter.

“On February 11, 2022, I received a letter of termination from the department to which I have dedicated my life,” the firefighter said. “We are the men and women who gave blood, sweat and tears to support the city during its darkest hour.”

“If you’re ready to lift the warrants for all artists, you should also be ready to lift the warrants for our life-saving heroes,” one paramedic said.

“It’s not science to take away the mandate of an athlete but not a teacher,” said city councilor Inna Vernikov.

The press conference was hosted by Councilwoman Vickie Paladino, who said nearly 1,500 city workers were laid off as a result of the mandate.

“It’s the heart of New York. Give them their jobs back,” Paladino said.

City Council President Adrienne Adams recently expressed “serious concerns” about the “process, rationale and unfairness” of the decision, which Adams was asked about on Tuesday.

“She has a right to her opinion, and I have a right to do what’s best for New York City,” Adams said.

He says he will deploy it when his medical team tells him what needs to be done. But rally participants believe the best decision is one that gets frontline workers back to work.

“I remind him how valuable essential workers are to New York City,” said a sanitation department employee.

A similar rally took place on Monday with leaders of two FDNY unions. When asked, Adams said he would be open to meeting with union leaders.

Melissa C. Keyes