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Municipal workers demand NYC end what they call double standard and lift vaccine mandate

City workers call for Mayor Adams to roll back vaccine mandate 02:15

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams is facing more pushback for his decision to lift the vaccine mandate for professional athletes and performers, but not frontline workers

City workers were out in force on Tuesday in Queens, calling it a double standard, CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported.

"It's cold out here, and those mandates are colder," said teacher Aquila Norris.   

Norris was among the city workers and supporters standing in the bitter cold with a passionate plea to Adams. 

"End these mandates now," said Michael Kane of Teachers for Choice. 

Many gathered at Flushing Meadows Corona Park calling on the city to reinstate and compensate its frontline workers that have lost jobs over the decision to not get vaccinated.

Among them is a proud FDNY firefighter. 

"On February 11, 2022, I received a letter of termination from the department that I dedicated my life to," the firefighter said. "We are the men and women that gave blood, sweat and tears to support the city during its darkest hour." 

"If you're willing to lift mandates for all performers, you should be willing to lift mandates for our lifesaving performing heroes, too," one paramedic said. 

"It's not science to peel off the mandate from an athlete but not from a teacher," City Councilmember Inna Vernikov said. 

The news conference was organized by City Councilmember Vickie Paladino, who says close to 1,500 city workers have been terminated as a result of the mandate.  

"This is the heartbeat of New York. Give them back their jobs," Paladino said. 

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams recently expressed 'serious concerns" about the "process, rationale, and inequity" of the decision, which Adams was asked about Tuesday. 

"She has a right to her opinion, and I have the right to carry out what's best for the city of New York," Adams said. 

He says he will roll it out when his medical team tells him what needs to be done. But those at the rally feel the best move is one that brings the frontline workers back to work. 

"Reminding him just how valuable essential workers are to the city of New York," a Department of Sanitation worker said. 

A similar rally was held Monday with leaders of two FDNY unions. When asked, Adams said he would be open to meeting with union leadership. 

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