By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The President’s order to require most federal workers to get the coronavirus vaccine is not welcome news for everyone.

“The current administration has been pro-union but this is a hard pill to swallow,” says Eric Speirs.

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Speirs has spent the last 11 years working as a federal correction officer and is currently at the Miami detention center.

He’s finishing up his first year as union chief representing hundreds of workers.

“It should be a matter of choice. This is not the military. Even the inmates have choice
to get vaccinated or not,” he says.

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The Miami facility had a covid outbreak among inmates in July and recently 14 more inmates were diagnosed with COVID.

Speirs says they are severely short staffed and he says forcing correction officers to be vaccinated will only make their staffing situation worse.

“We have senior employees who say they’ll retire if they are forced to get vaccinated,” he says.

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Speirs says nationally, the union could file a grievance or go to federal court to fight the mandate.