We are receiving some very disturbing news from dealers who are encountering some serious problems caused by those who choose not to be vaccinated. The major problem is coming from dealer’s clients who have mandated that only vaccinated sales and service representatives can enter their premises. These are clients who have insisted that their employees be fully vaccinated.
In responding to this demand from their clients, some dealers have asked their employees to be vaccinated. The problem does not end there. As one dealer shared with us, “In response to our policy that all employees be vaccinated, we find that 83% of our total workforce has complied.”
That sounded pretty good until we heard what came next. “We thought it was a pretty good response until those that were vaccinated complained they did not want to work next to those who are unvaccinated.”
Another dealer experiencing the same edict from his clients has appealed to everyone in his organization to get vaccinated. Not everyone has responded positively. This dilemma has ramifications. Both dealers compete in major markets where larger companies are establishing restrictive policies to create a safe environment for their employees and the people they serve.
The pressure is building and coupled with everything else that dealers are confronted with they will sooner or later have to address it. We recognize in certain markets with high rates of unvaccinated populations it is more than likely this would not be a pervasive policy. Even if it were, it would be virtually impossible to request their employees get vaccinated.
At some point, this conflict will make it more than just difficult for businesses of all kinds who have outbound sales and service organizations calling on the public. It is no less difficult for those in the travel industry. United Airlines implemented a vaccination policy for all their employees. That is being addressed in the courts.
Delta Airlines has done something else to impress upon their employees the urgent need for them to be vaccinated. For those who refuse to be vaccinated, their premiums or contributions to their medical insurance would be increased by $200 per month. The rationale is based on medical risk. According to the CDC, 93% of newly hospitalized patients with COVID are unvaccinated. Therefore, the risk of them being infected is significantly higher than a person who was vaccinated. In addition, for those that are vaccinated the effects of the variant would be minimal, and recovery usually swift.
We hope that dealers will evaluate their positions on this issue and provide what they believe to be the best way to protect their employees. We would also encourage that they are aware of the potential damages to their businesses caused by clients who have made decisions to implement protective measures for their employees. The result could be they deny access to their offices to those that are not vaccinated. As we noted that is already happening.
Everything we have stated is based on published facts from the most reliable sources and dealers themselves. We believe it is a serious matter and only hope that dealers would ask medical professionals with appropriate credentials for their advice and respond accordingly.
At the very least be prepared for the possibility that customers’ potential actions could negatively impact a dealer’s ability to maintain the strongest possible relationship with some very important clients.
Our only concern is for the dealer channel to meet this latest threat in the same manner they have faced every other challenge over the last 50 years.