United Airlines mandates that U.S. employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: A United Airlines passenger plane took off on December 6, 2019 at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, USA, with New York City as the background. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

(Reuters)-United Airlines on Friday became the first American airline to require all domestic employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The airline stated that its 67,000 U.S. employees are required to produce a vaccination certificate, which is fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from Pfizer Company (New York Stock Exchange:), Modern (NASDAQ:) Inc or Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:)-expected sometime in the fall-or before October 25, whichever is earlier.

United Airlines stated that 90% of its pilots and 80% of flight attendants are vaccinated.

The resurgence of COVID-19 in the United States due to the more contagious Delta variant has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to resume indoor mask guidance for most vaccinated Americans. Some companies require vaccinations in the workplace or postpone the timetable for returning to the office.

“The facts are very clear: when everyone is vaccinated, everyone is safer,” co-CEO Scott Kirby (NYSE:) and President Brett Hart wrote to employees Said in the letter.

American Airlines is recovering from the brutal 2020, when travel slowed due to the pandemic, forcing them to cut flights, let employees take vacations, and borrow government funds to pay wages.

Kirby and Hart said they expected some employees to disagree with the decision, but added that the directive was issued to make the workplace safer.

Employees who are vaccinated before September 20 and employees who have been vaccinated will receive an extra day’s salary.

This authorization coincides with increasing attention to the impact of Delta variants. On Thursday, Frontier Airlines lowered its forecast for the third quarter and warned that Delta Air Lines is hurting demand.

The United Airlines Pilots Union, which represents more than 12,000 pilots, said that the vaccine requirements require further negotiations with United Airlines, adding that some pilots did not agree to the request.

Some foreign destinations already require American Airlines employees to be vaccinated.

The Union Flight Attendants Association, which represents the United Airlines flight crew, supports this initiative.

The union said in a statement: “There are too many risks to ensure the safety and well-being of joint flight attendants.” “COVID-19 is a threat. There are effective strategies to mitigate this threat. Vaccination is important It is necessary to end the pandemic and its health and economic damage.”

Chicago-based United Airlines reached an agreement with its pilot union in May. The agreement does not mandate vaccinations, but will provide additional compensation for those who vaccinate.

Some other major industries, such as US automakers, have resumed mask requirements, but refused to compulsorily vaccinate their employees.

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