Moog employees walk off job, join outside supporters to protest federal vaccine mandate
Hundreds gathered outside Moog’s Elma complex in Elma Monday, including some Moog employees who walked off their jobs in a protest of a federal COVID vaccine mandate that affects their jobs.
The company, which works under federal contracts, informed employees last week that under federal guidelines they must be fully vaccinated for COVID. They have received a deadline of Dec. 8 or face termination.
Employee Matt Schieber led the speakers. He says he’s not opposed to the vaccine, but is against vaccine mandates. He also stated during his remarks that they’re not looking to fight Moog, but rather the federal government’s directive.
“We're not here for politics, violence or even to debate the vaccine opinions. We're here to fight against medical mandates,” he said. “You cannot comply your way out of tyranny. We love Moog. We want Moog to thrive. We just want to do our jobs.”
At least 200 people were estimated to be present at the afternoon rally. Scheiber, when asked how many in the crowd were fellow employees, was unsure of a count.
Others passed in vehicles, many adorned with flags, blaring their horns as a show of support.
It was announced on site that at least $35,000 had been raised to retain attorney Todd Aldinger to challenge the mandate in court.
In addition to employees, politicians were present to speak in support of the anti-mandate movement. They included Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and State Assemblyman David DiPietro. Buffalo mayoral write-in candidate Ben Carlisle also reported being there.
DiPietro, while addressing the crowd, suggested they need to resist just as Rosa Parks resisted when the Black woman famously refused to give up her bus seat.
“When they told her to go to the back of the bus, she said one word, ‘No.’ That's what we have to do. No,” he said.
Moog officials have not commented on the memo, nor the protest.