Carhartt, the clothing brand that appeals to both urban and rural workplaces and homes, has found itself amidst a controversy as their CEO, Mark Valade, now mandates vaccines for all workers. This has created a divide in customers as many believe that the workers should have the right to remain unvaccinated.
After Valade’s memo for this requirement surfaced on social media on January 14th, boycotts began. Despite the Supreme Court striking down President Biden’s vaccine rules, declaring that it was a violation of personal freedoms to mandate getting vaccinated, Valade plans to keep the requirement, as private corporations have the right to do so.
“An unvaccinated workforce is both a people and business risk that our company is unwilling to take,” said Valade.
Most of the outrage has come from right wing customers. Unvaccinated folks are currently the minority in America as over fifty percent of the population has received at least two shots. Their distaste for the situation seems consistent with how the pandemic has been made increasingly politicized.
“Carhartt fully understands and respects the varying opinions on this topic, and we are aware some of our associates do not support this policy,” a Carhartt spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal, “However, we stand behind our decision because we believe vaccines are necessary to protect our workforce.”
The future is unclear as tensions thicken and the boycotts continue. It’s a battle between personal safety and personal freedoms where no one knows how Carhartt will go forward as they continually lose business and gain support from either side.