UPDATED 5:16 PM PT – Friday, October 15, 2021
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took her dispute with a national police union to court over her city’s vaccine mandate. Lightfoot took police union, Fraternal Order of Police, to court over its local chapter’s refusal to comply with a vaccine mandate.
On Friday, the Democrat mayor announced she filed a complaint against the union, accusing them of “engaging in, supporting and encouraging work stoppage or strike.” The organization filed a dueling lawsuit against the city hours later, seeking arbitration over the vaccine status requirement.
Lightfoot said the union’s president, John Catanzara, needed to stop urging its more than 8,000 members to ignore Friday night’s vaccine status deadline, in which all city workers must be fully vaccinated or face termination unless approved for religious or medical exemption. She also asked the court to prohibit the union and its officers from “engaging in any concerted refusal to submit vaccination status information.”
A Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief has been filed by @FOP7Chicago in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
— Fraternal Order of Police – Chicago Lodge #7 (@FOP7Chicago) October 15, 2021
Catanzara argued the city is the one threatening to fire its officers for not complying with an “improper directive” and noted that from the beginning, the city said the order was subject to mandatory bargaining. The union president previously warned the force could be at 50 percent or less for the weekend if officers are terminated.
In the meantime, Lightfoot said officers who refuse the mandate would be placed on unpaid leave starting next week.