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United Airways says virtually all its employees are vaccinated; some others could also be fired


United Airlines pilot Steve Lindland receives a COVID-19 vaccine at O'Hare International Airport.

United Airways pilot Steve Lindland receives a COVID-19 vaccine at O’Hare Worldwide Airport.

Scott Olson | Getty Photos

United Airways is touting the success of its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, saying that greater than 99 p.c of its U.S.-based workers have met the corporate’s requirement to get vaccinated, or have utilized for a spiritual or medical exemption.

However the fewer than 600 United workers who didn’t get vaccinated by the airline’s deadline of Sept. 27 now face termination.

“This is a historic achievement for our airline and our employees as well as for the customers and communities we serve,” United CEO Scott Kirby and president Brett Hart mentioned in a memo to workers. “Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United’s U.S.-based employees was simple — to keep our people safe — and the truth is this: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated, and vaccine requirements work.”

United introduced Aug. 6 that the Chicago-based airline was requiring all 67,000 of its U.S.-based workers to be vaccinated. On the time, the airline mentioned about 90 p.c of pilots and 80 p.c of flight attendants had already been vaccinated.

Seven weeks later, United says about 2,000 employees, lower than 3 p.c of the U.S.-based workforce, have utilized for a spiritual or medical lodging. These employees had confronted being placed on an unpaid go away of absence starting Saturday, however the airline has pushed again that date whereas a federal lawsuit difficult that coverage works its manner by way of the courts.

United says 593 workers haven’t been vaccinated nor have they utilized for an exemption.

“For the less than 1% of people who decided to not get vaccinated, we’ll unfortunately begin the process of separation from the airline per our policy,” Kirby and Hart advised workers within the memo.

Their letter thanks “the tens of thousands of employees who got their shot,” including “we know for some, that decision was a reluctant one. But there’s no doubt in our minds that some of you will have avoided a future hospital stay — or even death — because you got vaccinated.”

United introduced it will require workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 6, weeks earlier than President Joe Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate. Hawaiian and Frontier Airways additionally require workers to be vaccinated.

Delta Air Traces didn’t mandate vaccines, however introduced in August it’ll start charging unvaccinated employees a $200 monthly health insurance surcharge.

Since then, Biden ordered all U.S. corporations with greater than 100 employees to require workers to be vaccinated or ceaselessly examined for COVID. However the unions for pilots at Southwest and American Airways are asking the White Home to exempt pilots from the mandate.

The Allied Pilots Affiliation says about 30 p.c of American’s 14,000 pilots haven’t gotten pictures and warns that mass terminations of unvaccinated pilots may result in a extreme scarcity of pilots in the course of the busy November and December vacation season.

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