HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Employees at the 3M manufacturing plant in Harrison County are fighting for a choice.
3M has a contract with the federal government, which means employees have to follow the government’s Jan. 4 deadline to get the shot. Workers said they want to have more say in the vaccination requirement, which is why they protested outside of the facility on Wednesday.
The employees gathered in front of the plant said they weren’t necessarily against the vaccine, but they were opposed to being told they had to get it.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s constitutional. I don’t. I’m a Christian first and an American second. And I think the company should honor the Constitution,” 3M employee Christopher Cooper said. “I understand that businesses have private rights of what they can do in their business but violating their workers’ constitutional rights, that’s not an option.”
Most private employers with more than 100 employees have the option of having unvaccinated employees get tested weekly to continue working. But, because 3M is a federal contractor, their employees must be vaccinated by January 4.
A statement from 3M said they care about employees and their families and want them to be healthy and safe. They said vaccines are the most effective way to prevent death, serious illness and transmission.
“For me personally, I will not be taking the vaccine. I won’t. I don’t think it’s constitutional how it was pushed on people. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the vaccine, but for it to be mandated like this I am skeptical,” Cooper said.
Cooper said he couldn’t blame anyone who wanted to stay, but if the mandate was still in effect come January, he realized it could cost him his job.
“But a lot of us, we won’t have a job anymore and all these years have just been, dust in the wind for us to go out,” Cooper said.
About 30 people came out to the protest, including some who clocked out of work to cross the street.
“You should have a choice in what you put in your body and it should not matter for you doing your job and contributing to society. Stay strong, and God bless,” Cooper said.
There were similar protests at 3M plants in South Dakota, Missouri, Texas and Nebraska earlier this year. There was also one Tuesday in Minnesota.