Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
November 18, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC — Following its joining of a multi-trade association lawsuit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for its COVID-19 employer-based vaccination and testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) released a survey of distributors of all sizes regarding the impact of the OSHA ETS. The survey finds an overwhelming majority support the legal challenge and warn of significant job loss. The survey respondents include members and non-members.

“NAW and distributors remain aligned in the mission to get more Americans vaccinated, but the men and women who keep the supply chain moving will face significant issues if the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate continues as planned, and that’s why 87% of distributors surveyed across the country support this legal challenge to the vaccine mandate,” NAW CEO Eric Hoplin said. “Distributors have offered paid time off, incentive pay, and a variety of other rewards to encourage vaccination, but there remains a significant portion of the workforce who would rather quit their jobs than be vaccinated. This reality will put more pressure on the supply chain by exacerbating the labor shortage in an extremely tight job market, and threaten businesses and the families that depend on them.”

Key Findings

  • 87% of distributors surveyed support a legal challenge to the OSHA ETS
  • Anonymized responses on how the OSHA ETS will impact distributors:
    • “The mandate will force us to choose between staying in business with long-term, skilled employees or reducing our capacity to match remaining employees.”
    • One distributor reports “we would lose 10-20% of our workforce, which would cripple us.”
    • “We strongly encourage vaccinations, but the realities of the workforce are that this will have severe unintended negative consequences for supply chains nationwide.”
    • Another distributor reports it will “cause many employees to leave and go work for smaller companies not subject to the mandate”
    • “In this employment climate, we can’t afford to lose any employees. We’d lose several high value people.”
    • One reports “while we agree that the vaccine is critical to eradicate the virus” the OSHA ETS will cause “employees will walk off the job”
    • “The labor market is extremely tight, and we already can’t fill all of our open positions. Losing existing employees due to these rules would make an already difficult hiring environment almost impossible.”
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