Teamsters Can't Arbitrate Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

By Lauraann Wood (October 13, 2021, 8:22 PM EDT) -- An Illinois federal judge rejected a Teamsters local unit's request to send a pension fund's new COVID-19 vaccination policy to interest arbitration, saying the arbitration clause in the parties' union contract is too narrow to apply to the mandate.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman said International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 743 can't force interest arbitration of the policy implemented by Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Health and Welfare and Pension Funds, known as TeamCare, because the parties' interest arbitration agreement applies only to plans of an economic nature that cover wages and other employee benefits.

The pension fund's vaccination policy...

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