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Federal vaccine requirement concerns construction contractors

Vaccine requirement concerns construction contractors
Posted at 7:58 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 23:25:08-04

TULSA, Okla. — President Joe Biden announced mandatory vaccines companies with 100 or more employees, last week. Green Country drivers could have to deal with potential fallout from the new requirement.

“You could easily see people walk out and go find a job somewhere else," Aaron Wilcox, project manager at Tulsa-based BECCO Contractors, Inc. said. "We can require them to wear safety vests, safety glasses, and steel-toed boots, but it’s really hard to tell a guy you need to get an injection in your body or you don’t have a job here.”

It is the tough business reality Wilcox and BECCO management may face with the company's more than 420 employees who are subject to the order from The White House. Biden announced the vaccine requirement, Thursday, along with the alternative opportunity to provide weekly COVID testing for all employees.

Wilcox said BECCO is currently working on about 30 construction projects in the Tulsa area including road reconstruction on 81st Street from Memorial Drive to Sheridan Road, work on Historic Route 66 near Lewis Avenue, and the $300 million extension of the Gilcrease Expressway.

He worries, the vaccine requirement could drive many of the company's workers away, and the large undertaking to connect US 412 to Interstate 44 could be put on hold.

"You’re going to start seeing crews start getting smaller. Work is going to start slowing down. Completion of projects is going to start getting delayed and maybe even some getting shut down," he said.

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