<p>United Airlines has made vaccination mandatory for staff </p>

United Airlines has made vaccination mandatory for staff

United Airlines to axe hundreds of unvaccinated staff

Around 600 employees who refused Covid vaccine will get the chop

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 29 September 2021 12:13
Comments

United Airlines is set to lay off hundreds of employees who have refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The carrier announced that roughly 600 members of staff would be axed after failing to comply with the company’s mandatory vaccination policy.

This number does not include the 3 per cent who filed for exemption on religious or medical grounds.

According to United, 99 per cent of its workforce presented proof of vaccination prior to the deadline.

Those who have failed to prove their vaccinated status or have not put forward a valid exemption claim will have one last chance to fall into line, according to the airline.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and the company’s president Brett Hart wrote in a memo to employees, reports The Hill.

United first announced in August that all of its US employees would have to be fully vaccinated against Covid, with a deadline of 27 September.

Employees were given the added incentive of receiving an extra day’s pay if they got their full vaccination dose before 20 September.

“Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United’s US-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,” the memo continued.

In response to the vaccine mandate, a group of six United Airlines employees has filed a lawsuit against the company.

The six plaintiffs have all refused the vaccine on religious or medical grounds, with four asking for exemption due to their belief that the vaccine was “derived using aborted foetal tissue”.

“United's actions have left plaintiffs with the impossible choice of either taking the Covid-19 vaccine, at the expense of their religious beliefs and their health, or losing their livelihoods,” says the lawsuit, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

United is one of a number of airlines that have made vaccination mandatory for staff.

Virgin Australia and Qantas have introduced similar policies, while Wizz Air is making vaccination compulsory for inflight workers.

Delta Air Lines, meanwhile, said it would charge unvaccinated employees an extra $200 a month for company health insurance in an effort to offset the costs of staff being hospitalised for the coronavirus.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in