GE Healthcare, like all other federal contractors, is complying with an executive order issued earlier this year by President Joe Biden that requires the employees of all federal contractors and their subcontractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within the coming months.
However, on Monday evening, workers from GE’s Waukesha office, members of Wisconsin IAM Local 1916 and people from across Waukesha County protested this mandate on the road outside the company’s Waukesha office, near 3000 N. Grandview Blvd.
“It shouldn’t be job versus jab,” said Angela Bossert, whose husband has been with GE for almost 20 years.
The protesters displayed signs and shouted slogans while staying out of the way of traffic starting at about 4:30 p.m. to voice their opinions of both GE’s vaccine mandate and vaccine mandates at other companies as well.
Among the protesters was Jonathan Wichmann, who is running for governor in 2022. He said that he was at the protest because if people don’t take a stand against companies like GE, vaccine mandates will become normalized everywhere.
“It starts with the health care,” Wichmann said. “And before you know it, it’s infected every other corporation.”
He said that instead of vaccine mandates, employees should be able to choose whether or not they want to get the COVID-19 vaccines, and that forcing people to get vaccines is unconstitutional.
And Mike Carter, the president of IAM Local 1916, which has workers at GE Healthcare in Waukesha, said that his union is opposed to the mandate, which may cost some workers their jobs in the coming months.
“We’re against it,” Carter said.
GE Healthcare did not respond to The Freeman’s request for comment about the protest or the company’s vaccine mandate before deadline.