Nearly 600 United Airlines employees might lose their jobs if they don’t follow the company’s Covid-19 immunisation policy.
The vast majority of the company’s 67,000 employees in the United States have provided proof of vaccination, which was required by Monday. In a note to employees, the company’s executives said, “This was an extraordinarily tough decision.”
In August, the Chicago-based airline announced its Covid staffing requirements. By the deadline on Monday, its US employees have to upload proof of immunisation, or the first of two injections. The 593 workers who refused the coronavirus vaccine and did not apply for a religious or medical exemption are now at risk of losing their employment.
“This was a difficult decision,” they added, “but keeping our crew safe has always been our first concern.”
Some of those employees may be retained if they have been vaccinated but have neglected to present proof of vaccination, or if they are immunised before formal talks on the subject, according to the business.
Regarding the dismissals, United said it will follow the rules specified in the union agreements. The procedure could take weeks or months to complete.
A total of 2,000 employees have asked to be exempted from the regulation. It had previously said that those who are exempt would be placed on temporary, unpaid leave beginning October 2nd. However, those intentions were put on hold after six employees filed a lawsuit contesting the policy.
Pandemic-related travel restrictions impacted United hard, as they did many other corporations in the airline industry.
It was announced at the height of the crisis that up to 36,000 employees would be furloughed.
It denied, however, that its vaccine policy would have an impact on future recruitment, despite the fact that new hires will be required to be vaccinated.
It said on Tuesday that it had received over 20,000 applications for 2,000 flight attendant positions.
Few airlines in the United States have mandated vaccines for their employees. For individuals who are not vaccinated, Delta Airlines has imposed a $200 (£148) monthly health insurance fee.