Ceos Of Airlines Have Stated That They Do Not Intend To Terminate Staff

Ceos Of Airlines Have Stated That They Do Not Intend To Terminate Staff

The CEOs of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines both stated on Thursday that they do not intend to terminate unvaccinated employees, easing their stance as the deadline for a government mandate approaches. 

Ceos Of Airlines Have Stated That They Do Not Intend To Terminate Staff

Beginning on December 8, the Biden administration will compel government contractors, including those two airlines, Delta, United, and others, to guarantee that their personnel gets vaccinated against Covid-19 unless they are granted an exception for medical or religious grounds. 

Southwest and American have lately softened their stance on the obligation, asking employees who do not intend to be vaccinated to request an exemption. Each carrier informed employees earlier this month that they would need to be vaccinated or acquire an exemption.

Southwest informed employees last Friday that it would no longer place them on unpaid leave if their petitions were not evaluated or granted by the Dec. 8 deadline, according to CNBC.

Ceos Of Airlines Have Stated That They Do Not Intend To Terminate Staff

Employees and others have protested the vaccination demand at the offices of each carrier this month. Some of their work unions have also spoken out against the requirement.

The great majority of American Airlines employees are vaccinated, according to CEO Doug Parker, and a tiny minority very definitely will have a religious or medical exemption by the deadline. 

United Airlines imposed a rigorous company-wide requirement in August, a month before President Joe Biden released the new vaccine guidelines, and the airline claims that more than 96 percent of its 67,000 U.S. employees have been vaccinated.

United CEO Scott Kirby warned on Wednesday that travelers should be aware that other airlines’ scrambling to meet mandate requirements may jeopardize their operations. “Caveat emptor,” Kirby warned on the airline’s quarterly call from Chicago.

The federal vaccination obligation, however, does not appear to apply to regional airlines that fly up to half of the flights of larger carriers, according to United and American officials. Parker, American’s CEO, stated on Thursday that this also applies to its wholly-owned subsidiary airlines.

Airlines and other federal contractors will not be required to give immunization evidence or other documents to the US government, but will instead be included in federal contracts, according to a White House official.

According to the source, the federal government would cooperate with the contractor to assist them to achieve compliance, but if they did not, the contract might be canceled by the government.

Delta Airlines will begin charging unvaccinated workers an additional $200 per month for corporate health insurance in November. This policy has prompted more employees to be vaccinated, with CEO Ed Bastian estimating that 90 percent of Delta staff had received the vaccinations. Mr. Bastian stated that he expects the number to rise further and that Delta will comply with the government’s requirements.

Key points: 

  • American and Southwest have stated that they will comply with a government regulation that requires employees to be either vaccinated against Covid-19 or acquire a religious or medical exemption.
  • Southwest scrapped a provision last week that would have put employees on unpaid leave if they had outstanding exemption requests.
  • Both Texas-based airlines’ CEOs said they had no plans to terminate employees over the problem, softening their tone from earlier this month.

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