(Reuters) Managers with United Parcel Service Inc., Walt Disney Co. and other companies met with White House officials on Tuesday to discuss President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine requirements for private sector workers, worrying that it could exacerbate labor shortages and power in the supply chain.
The assignment would apply to companies with 100 or more employees and would affect approximately 80 million workers throughout the country.
Several industry sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the regulatory process was moving with urgency and they expect the mandate to be formally announced as early as this week. It was not clear how long employers will have to implement it.
The White House Office of Management and Budget has met with several influential corporate lobby groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Retailers' Association, and the Business Roundtable as part of its regulatory process. The meetings were requested by industry groups and companies and are part of the regular regulatory process.
Tuesday's meetings were revealed in applications to the White House. Disney did not respond to requests for comment. A UPS spokesman confirmed the meeting and said it was reviewing what a vaccine mandate means for the company and its employees.
Many of the industry groups have expressed concerns such as labor shortages and how regulation by the Department of Labor & # 39 ;s Occupational Safety and Health Administration could exacerbate existing supply chain problems facing U.S. companies ahead of the holidays. Other topics, such as test requirements and who should bear the cost, were also addressed.
Evan Armstrong, RILA's Vice President of Labor, said it would be difficult for retailers to implement the rule in the middle of the US holiday season and to push it through January would help. He said the group raised the issue with the White House during its meeting.
"The implementation period must push this past the holiday period because it is obviously for retail the biggest time for us," he said. RILA's members include major US employers such as Walmart Inc. and the industry supports over 50 million US jobs.
Mr. Biden's plan has received a mixed reaction from industry groups and companies.
Several major employers, including Procter & Gamble Co. and 3M Co., along with airlines such as American Airlines and JetBlue Airways Corp., have introduced vaccination mandates since Mr. Biden's announcement last month. Others like IBM have said they will require all US employees to be fully vaccinated by December 8, no matter how often they enter the office.
Some other large American employers, such as Walmart, have not yet made great demands. .
The vaccine order has led many Republican governors, including Florida's Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott of Texas, to issue a decree banning companies in his state from requiring vaccinations for employees. Although some, such as American Airlines, have said they plan to continue with vaccination rules.
The mandate will be implemented according to a federal regulatory mechanism called a temporary emergency standard.