More US air carriers—American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue—have announced they will require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The move comes as the Biden administration has pressured airlines to require vaccines as part of a broader strategy to boost vaccination rates in the country. President Joe Biden last month signed an executive order for federal contractors to mandate shots for employees, with the White House later setting a December 8 deadline for receiving the vaccine.
Airlines say they provide special flights and other services for the government and therefore fall under Biden’s mandate.
American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker told employees, “While we are still working through the details of federal requirements, it is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not work at American Airlines.” will do.” In the memorandum of 1 October.
Alaska Airlines said in a memo to employees Friday that employees would be required to take the shot, which has no testing option but is likely to apply for exemptions on religious or medical grounds.
“This means that employees can no longer opt for masking in lieu of receiving routine testing and vaccines,” Alaska Airlines said in a memo to employees, according to the Associated Press.
Andy Schneider, senior vice president for Alaska Airlines, was quoted by The Seattle Times as saying that Biden’s vaccine mandate applies to the company’s subsidiaries and some contractors.
“After carefully reviewing this order, we have determined that Alaska, Horizon and McGee employees (including certain contractors and vendors) along with other major U.S. airlines, as well as the federal government, are eligible for this federal vaccine mandate. come under. This policy will replace our company’s policy of vaccination or testing that we announced earlier this month,” Schneider told the outlet in an email to employees.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes and COO Joanna Geraghty told employees in an email on Friday that getting the vaccine would now be a condition of employment.
“Based on the guidance issued, all JetBlue crewmembers—regardless of working in operation, a support center, or at home—are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the government to continue their role.” Will be,” he wrote, according to CNBC.
Airlines’ approaches to Biden’s mandate differ, with Delta saying on Friday it was continuing to evaluate the administration’s plan, while Southwest said it would “provide a COVID-19 vaccine to employees”. continues to strongly encourage to achieve,” according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, a union representing pilots for several major US airlines warned that if pilots are forced to choose between getting the shot or quitting their jobs, the COVID-19 vaccine mandate could be delayed for upcoming holiday travel. May cause travel disruption during the season. The union called for alternatives such as routine testing or proof of natural immunity to obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times