Back in January United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby addressed employees and signaled that the company looks to make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for all employees and now the company follows through.
United Airlines will require its 67,000 U.S. employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by no later than Oct. 25 or risk termination of employment if they don’t provide the credentials.
The mandate is contingent on the full authorization of certain vaccines by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) which has currently authorized the products only for Emergency Use.
CNBC reports that employees have to provide United with their vaccination credentials five weeks after the full approval by the FDA.
United Airlines will require its 67,000 U.S. employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by no later than Oct. 25 or risk termination, a first for major U.S. carriers that will likely ramp up pressure on rivals. …
Airlines including United had resisted vaccine mandates for all workers, instead offering incentives like extra pay or time off to get inoculated. Delta Air Lines in May started requiring newly hired employees to show proof of vaccination. United followed suit in June.
United’s requirement is one of the strictest vaccine mandates from a U.S. company and one that includes employees who interact regularly with customers like flight attendants and gate agents. …
“We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employees,” United CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart said Friday in an employee note. “But, we have no greater responsibility to you and your colleagues than to ensure your safety when you’re at work, and the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated.”
United Airlines employees must upload proof that they received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s single dose five weeks after federal officials give full approval to them or by Oct. 25, whichever is first, the executives said. Exceptions will be made for certain health issues or religious reasons, United said.
The mandate does not apply to regional airlines that fly shorter routes for United.
Many of United’s employees have already reported they have been vaccinated, including more than 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants, according to company officials. United didn’t disclose the company’s overall vaccination rate. …
The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents United’s more than 12,000 aviators, believes the mandate is legal. It said the “small number of pilots” who don’t agree with the policy or plan to remain unvaccinated should contact their chief pilot’s office. …
This comes after not too long ago (in June) United offered all of their pilots a huge pay day for agreeing to get vaccinated. United pilots were able to receive up to $4576 just for getting their vaccine shots taken care of based on a deal United Airlines struck with the pilots union.
As the pilots now got their money all other employees are forced to undergo the same treatment without any compensation – or be fired. I find this ethically problematic just as I mentioned in my June article.
Now, you get vaccinated (any vaccine really, not just against C-19) primarily for your own health and safety rather than additional compensation from your employer but this whole situation isn’t exactly squeaky clean.
As far as operations are concerned it’s totally understandable that an airline (and passengers) would want ideally all of it’s crew to be vaccinated as flights could very easily get cancelled and scheduled disrupted should a crew member be diagnosed with Covid-19 during the trip while the plane sits at a foreign airport. Let alone the casualties among United employees and their families should they succumb to a C-19 related illness back home.
In previous statements United CEO Scott Kirby wanted all employees to be vaccinated though he didn’t mentioned how he wanted to achieve this goal and this is a statement from January of this year as referenced in the article. Now he basically says do it or be fired with some exceptions granted for health and religious reasons.
I wonder what religious reasons one could claim in order to get around this mandate and what punitive measures the company can take in this case. Could employees be taken off the duty roster and only be paid a basic salary without any bonuses or overtime? I’m sure crew will eventually face restrictions when it comes to international locations.
Other carriers such as American have offered their employees a day of leave and 50 bucks in credits to get vaccinated. Now it seems like U.S. companies no longer need to incentivize and just order everyone to take the vaccine. Question is if they all have sufficient staffing to follow through with threats of firing people!?