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Carhartt Faces Boycott Calls From Conservatives Over Company's Vaccine Mandate

Newsweek logo Newsweek 1/19/2022 Khaleda Rahman
Conservatives are calling for people to boycott clothing company Carhartt over its mandatory vaccination policy for employees. © Carhartt/Facebook Conservatives are calling for people to boycott clothing company Carhartt over its mandatory vaccination policy for employees.

Conservatives are urging a boycott of Carhartt over the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The workwear and clothing company announced last year that employees were required to be vaccinated by January 4 or face dismissal—a move that was met with pushback from some employees.

Last week, CEO Mark Valade told employees that the company was keeping its mandatory vaccination policy in place, despite a recent ruling from the Supreme Court blocking President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for large companies.

The ruling "does not change Carhartt's mandatory vaccination program, which went into effect on January 4th," Valade wrote in an email, which was leaked and shared on social media.

"We put workplace safety at the top of our priority list and the Supreme Court's recent ruling doesn't impact that core value. We, and the medical community, continue to believe vaccines are necessary to ensure a safe working environment for every associate and even perhaps their households."

Valade added: "An unvaccinated workforce is both a people and business risk that our company is unwilling to take."

A Carhartt spokeswoman previously confirmed to Newsweek that Valade sent the email to employees "as part of our long-standing commitment to workplace safety."

Carhartt's vaccination policy attracted fresh attention this week after a screenshot of the leaked email was widely shared on social media, leading the company to trend on Twitter.

Some conservatives railed against the policy, urging people to stop buying from Carhartt. "Very bad look. Definitely should stop buying their products if you do," Elijah Schaffer, a right-wing personality on BlazeTV, tweeted alongside the screenshot of the email.

Schaffer also alleged the company's policy amounted to "medical abuse," but others noted that Carhartt had the right to require employees get their COVID-19 shots.

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"Carhartt is a private company. It can mandate that you wear headbands if it wants," Carmine Sabia, a conservative commentator, wrote in a tweet.

"If you do not want to adhere to its policies, quit. This is a free market. In the same way I do not want the government mandating what we must do we can not mandate what a business can do."

Still, others targeted the company over its policy, with Ashley St. Clair, a conservative author, tweeting: "Went from "Buy Carhartt" to "Bye Carhartt" real quick!"

In another tweet, she urged people to "cancel @Carhartt" and "stop supporting medical tyranny!"

Others used the hashtag #BoycottCarhartt to urge people to avoid the company's products and buy from competitors instead.

"Make this company go bankrupt!!" one Twitter user wrote.

Yet others praised Carhartt's policy and vowed to continue buying the company's products.

"Thanks for amplifying @Carhartt's concern for its employees' health," tweeted writer David Lytle. "Definitely buying its products."

John Schwartz, a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote: "I've always liked Carhartt gear. Might be time to buy some more."

Carhartt has been contacted for additional comment.

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