Mandate acceptance by Michigan's largest utilities forebodes dire circumstance.
A senior Consumers Energy official whistle blower (I will refer to him as Mr. Spark) on the promise of anonymity tells us he is concerned that the federal mandate will hamstring emergency operations this winter.
According to Mr. Spark, 40% or more of CE employees (8600+ in Michigan ) are NOT vaccinated. It is expected that the additional 5000 contract workers which are treated like employees, as well as 10,000 other support staff that would be covered under the mandate would have the same rate of non vaccination. He says that Consumers energy rolled too easily with the claim that it’s hands were tied due to federal contracts, that PG&E’s mandate policy is limited to new contracts and should be the template for CE.
At this point, It is safe to assume that folks who are NOT vaccinated ..are those who do NOT wish to be vaccinated, or are waiting to see efficacy or safety issues to be resolved. According to a recent news story, Consumers ‘official position’ is that the employees are on board with the mandate, but according to Mr Spark that is not not so. “We are looking for as many outlets to the public to get the truth out there. Our company was interviewed by channel 3 yesterday where they said no disruption to service this winter due to this as most employee’s support the vaccine mandate. That simply is not true.”
“Some employees have mouths to feed, and will get the jab if it is absolutely necessary, but a great number will not.” Spark said. Also that “the company is already contacting contractors to line up back up, but due to the union, many are supporting our cause and not committing to help the company.”
The implication of this remains to be seen, but the possibility of delayed response time during outages is enhanced when a large percentage of the workforce is absent. Consumers energy and DTE share the same size workforce according to Spark, and the mandate problem is expected with that utility as well.
A rally to support utility workers is being planned to happen within the next two weeks. We will provide details as they are known.