Starting from: 09/29/2021 10:56 AM
After the ultimatum, the US airline fired nearly 600 employees who did not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19. In light of President Biden’s vaccination requirements, other companies could soon follow suit.
In the fight against the pandemic, United Airlines is laying off nearly 600 employees who do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and cannot show any health or religious exemption for this. “It was a very difficult decision, but the safety of our team has always been our top priority,” said CEO Scott Kirby and President Bret Hart. Affected employees can still save their jobs if they are vaccinated before the formal dismissal interview.
United Airlines – like other major US companies – has required vaccinations for its employees. Anyone who had not followed through on that order by last Monday should have expected termination. About 97 percent of the airline’s roughly 67,000 US employees had been vaccinated by the deadline. For a small portion of the staff there were also exceptions for health or religious reasons. For 593 employees, and therefore for less than one percent of the workforce, the termination procedure has been initiated.
A lawsuit against the Biden initiative
In the United States, President Joe Biden presented an action plan on September 9, which also includes measures to increase the vaccination rate. In addition to the mandatory vaccination of about 2.1 million federal employees and all businesses operating in the federal government, there are also regulations for the private sector. For companies with more than 100 employees, the following applies going forward: Employees either have to be vaccinated or they must submit at least one negative Covid-19 test each week. According to government figures, this affects about 80 million employees in the United States.
Concrete implementation of the new rules will be drawn up by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration within the next few weeks. However, Republicans have cracked down on vaccination requirements since Biden’s announcement and promptly announced the legal remedies. Arizona was the first state to file a lawsuit – on the grounds that mandatory vaccination is unconstitutional. Presenting his action plan, the US president stated, among other things: “We will work to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by increasing the proportion of vaccinated employees in companies across America.”
Measures to increase the vaccination quota announced by US President Joe Biden on September 9 were met with heavy criticism from Republicans.
Photo: Environmental Protection Agency
Many companies already rely on mandatory vaccinations
Even before the political move by the Biden administration, dozens of large US companies had given all employees, or at least most of the workforce, ultimatums to vaccinate. In addition to United Airlines, these companies include Microsoft, the Disney Group, pharmacy chain CVS, Chevron, and Goldman Sachs Bank. Other large companies, including several US airlines, have not yet decided whether to introduce mandatory vaccines or accept weekly tests as an alternative. Who will pay for these tests is one of the unanswered questions.
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