ELMA, NY (WKBW) — Hundreds of workers walked off the job at the Moog facility on Jamison Road in Elma Monday to protest the federal vaccine mandate.
President Biden announced the federal mandate in September. The mandate requires federal contractors to be vaccinated by December 8.
All federal employees must be vaccinated by November 22nd.
Moog employees are federal sub-contractors and vendors. Moog has defense contracts requiring them to comply to the federal mandate.
Moog employees walked off their job into a crowd of flag-waving supporters who cheered them on during the noon hour and rallied for a couple of hours.
The employees walked out of their production jobs saying they don't want to be forced to get the vaccine in order to keep their jobs.
“We just want to work. We don't want to be forced to take a medical procedure if we don't want it,” remarked Matt Schieber, Moog employee.
Schieber helped organize the walk-out rally.
He says employees received a memo October 20 from Moog saying they would need to be vaccinated by December 8 or risk losing their job.
Shieber says some are willing to risk their jobs to fight the mandate.
“If we were to lose five — ten percent of key areas it would bring this company to its knees and that's what we want to avoid at all costs,” Schieber said. “If we go down everyone is going to go down with us. It’s a cascading effect — not only throughout our community but throughout the entire nation.”
The rally was lined with supporters waiving signs calling for medical freedom and to terminate the mandate.
It also featured politicians, including republican state Assemblyman David Dipietro who told the crowd to fight the government mandate.
“And evil doesn't become just because it's accepted and shoved down your throat by — politicians,” shouted DiPietro.
“Nobody should be coerced into getting it,” declared John Pasucci, a Moog machinist walked out. He's is a third generation Moog worker.
Pasucci is a third generation Moog worker.
“This is everything — this is the best job I’ve every had. I just bought a house a year and a half ago. I want to retire here — that's what it means to me,” replied Pasucci.
These workers insist they are not anti-vaccination, but are anti-mandate.
“We’re against the mandates — we're against government coercion — we're not against the vaccine,” responded Pasucci.
While these Moog workers are in protest, the state says 78 percent of New Yorkers 18 and over are now fully vaccinated.
I did reach out to Moog for comment but have not yet received a response.
Moog makes everything from amusement park rides to parts for missiles, satellites and commercial airlines.
The employees say they are planning to seek a temporary injunction against the mandate.