Southwest Airlines will require all of its US employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Major carriers’ US-based employees must receive fully immunizations or approved religious, medical, or disability housing by December 8 to keep their jobs.
The Dallas-based airline said in a press release Monday that it had “fully reviewed” the new rules from the Biden administration, and determined that its contracts with the US government “require full compliance with the Federal Vaccination Directive”. Is.”
President Joe Biden signed an executive order in early September requiring all federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus. Contractors not complying may be deprived of government contracts.
Southwest, a major airline, is a federal contractor because its work includes flying the military in emergencies and carrying mail for the US Postal Service.
“Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination directive,” Southwest Airlines President and CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement. “I encourage all Southwest employees to complete the federal directive as soon as possible, as we value each individual and want to ensure job security for all.”
Southwest has over 54,000 employees.
Last week, rivals American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue announced similar vaccine mandates for their domestic workers.
United Airlines was the first US carrier to mandate vaccines for its domestic workers, announcing its mandate in August. It confirmed on September 29 that it was going to terminate its 593 employees who have opted not to comply with the company’s vaccine mandate.
Delta Air Lines remains a major US carrier that has opted not to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all of its employees. It requires all new U.S. employees to be vaccinated, and requires that all non-vaccinated Delta employees enrolled in its health care plan pay a $200 surcharge.
On Monday, Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said that even without a mandate, he expects more than 90 percent of employees to be fully vaccinated by November 1. Currently, 84 percent are fully vaccinated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times