NEW YORK - The city’s vaccine mandate continues sparking resistance among thousands of city workers who refuse to get the shot.
However, new numbers released Tuesday morning show in the last two weeks more municipal workers are getting vaccinated. As of Tuesday morning, NYPD is up by 15% and FDNY Firefighters increased by 19%.
But the resistance is still being felt, in the form of protesting on Staten Island Monday night.
"So tonight, I will stand in front of those trucks and if it takes getting arrested I will get arrested because it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is our freedom," shouted one protestor, who joined many others outside the Department of Sanitation facility on the New Springville section of Staten Island.
SkyFox spotted the large group against the city’s vaccine mandate blocking garbage trucks from entering the hub. And when that wasn’t working, protestors made sure they got the job done by standing in the way.
About 9,000 municipal employees have been placed on unpaid leave. All who refuse to get the vaccine can come back to work once they get their first dose.
On Staten Island, police tried keeping tempers at bay and vaccinated city workers safe while doing their job.
As for the FDNY, 2,300 firefighters called out sick Monday. Commissioner Daniel Nigro says the staffing shortage is manageable, but claims the sick calls are fake and out of protest.
"There are 18 units out of service. There are no fire houses closed. The fire department has 350 units. So let’s take that in perspective. If we went back a month on any given day, we might find 18 units out of service for training, for maintenance, for repair of apparatus and such," said Commissioner Nigro.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea says only 34 uniformed officers and 40 civilian members are on unpaid leave for refusing to get the shot. Thousands of others are still on the job as they wait for their exemption requests to be reviewed.
But for city workers on Staten Island, "And they're coming for our kids next. If we don't hold the line here, our kids won't even know what freedom is," shouted one protestor.
Police say no protestors were arrested, however, four were given summonses for disorderly conduct.