Vaccine mandate could cripple industry, cause stoppage of work

The vice president of Vallencourt Construction estimates mandating the vaccine would result in at least a loss of 30% of his workforce

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Business is booming for Vallencourt Construction – a land development contractor working on some of St. Johns County’s up and coming communities.

However, Vice President Daniel Vallencourt says the momentum he’s building would be stopped in its tracks if he required the COVID vaccine for his 520 employees.

“Somebody with 50 employees would take my guys in a heartbeat and there’s nothing I can do about that,” he told First Coast News.

Vallencourt estimates if a vaccine is required, he’d lose 30% of his workforce which would put a pause, or a complete stoppage, to his 30 ongoing projects.

“We can’t meet the demand as it is. Literally we can’t build lots fast enough for them to build houses on,” Vallencourt said.

He is also concerned with how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, plans to enforce the mandate for companies with more than 100 employees.  “They have a real necessary function and what this is doing is diverting their attention from things that can actually help workplace safety to turning them into vaccine mandate police.”

He says a walkout wouldn’t be unheard of, but hopes the president hears his concerns about how any vaccine mandate could be the nail in the coffin for construction companies. 

“It’s pretty basic. If you start reducing the size of your capacity, if you start limiting your capacity, which losing employees is the number one way to do that, you are not going to able to meet your obligations,” Vallencourt said.

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