By AlaskaWatchman.com

One of Alaska’s leading trucking companies that transports supplies throughout the U.S. and Canada, announced that all its employees and private contractors must get COVID shots.

An Oct. 8 letter from Alaska West Express President Eric Badger states that employees and subcontractors must be deemed “fully vaccinated” by Dec. 8 in order to comply with President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 executive order requiring all federal contractors to mandate COVID shots.

Badger’s letter acknowledged that previously workers were only encouraged to get the jab. He said the company “recognized that employees have a choice” but they could no longer decline the experimental shots.

“We have no choice but to comply, so we are implementing this mandate as detailed below,” he wrote.

The mandate comes as trucking companies struggle to keep supply chain lines open in Alaska and across the country.

The new policy requires employees, including those who work from home or remotely, to get the shot. The company will consider religious and medical exemption requests, but these will only be granted “where they do not cause Alaska West Express undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others,” Badger said.

Alaska West Express is a leader in transporting liquid and dry-bulk goods, as well as hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals and petroleum products. Utilizing a fleet of flatbeds, vans and trailers, it also serves oilfield, mining, construction and manufacturing industries.

Alaska West Express is one of 16 transportation companies that fall under the Lynden transportation family. Together they provide marine, air and land transportation of food, freight, petroleum and much more. The company has worked in Alaska for 67 years, and is one of the first to bring goods up the ALCAN Highway.

It’s unclear whether the new mandate will apply to all 16 companies in the Lynden family, but many of these also serve as federal contractors.

The mandate comes at a time when freight and trucking companies are struggling to keep supply chain lines open in Alaska and across the nation. Many major trucking companies worry that COVID mandates could push more workers away from operations that are already short of manpower.

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Amid supply chain crisis, major Alaska trucking company imposes vax mandate

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.