U.S. and Southwest CEOs promise not to fire workers for federal vaccination order

U.S. and Southwest CEOs promise not to fire workers for federal vaccination order

CEOs of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines said on Thursday they had no plans to lay off vaccinated workers and softened their tone as the deadline for the federal order approached.

From December 8, Biden management will need federal contractors, including these two carriers, Delta, United and others, to ensure that their employees are vaccinated against Covid 19 unless they are exempt for medical or religious reasons.

The Southwest and the United States recently relaxed their rhetoric on the mandate, urging workers who do not plan to be vaccinated to apply for exemptions. Earlier this month, he said every carrier should vaccinate employees or exempt them from continuing to work there.

Last Friday, CNBC said on Tuesday that it no longer plans to put Southwest employees on unpaid leave if the company does not review or approve their requests by the December 8 deadline.

Staff and others protested the vaccination order at each carrier’s headquarters this month. Some of their unions also opposed the order.

“If they can’t get the vaccine, we ask them to look for shelter for religious or medical reasons, and we will evaluate each of them,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC.Squat on the street. ““ As long as they are valid, we will recognize them. “

“I’m not going to fire anyone,” Kelly said after the company released its quarterly results

U.S. CEO Doug Parker said most of Carrier’s employees have been vaccinated and that a small minority will “certainly” be within the religious or medical exemption period, and those who do not will continue to work.

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United Airlines issued a strict institutional order a month before President Joe Biden announced the new vaccine rules in August, and said United had vaccinated more than 96% of its 67,000 U.S. employees.

United CEO Scott Kirby said Wednesday that the difficulty of other airlines in meeting the needs of passengers should be aware that the operations of those carriers could be jeopardized. “Caviar Emperor,” Kirby said during a quarterly call from the Chicago-based airline.

United and U.S. officials said the federal vaccination order does not appear to apply to regional airlines, which sometimes make up half of the aircraft of the largest carriers. The CEO of American Parker said Thursday that this also applies to its wholly owned subsidiaries.

A White House official said airlines and other federal contractors would not have to provide vaccination certificates or other documents to the U.S. government, but would be included in federal contracts.

The federal government will work to help the contractor cooperate, but otherwise the contract could be terminated by the government, the official said.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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