Roughly 96% of United Airlines employees across all work groups are vaccinated and over 99% of employees who did not seek an exemption are vaccinated. Now comes the hard part: dealing with that last 4%.
United Airlines Reports 96% Of All U.S. Employees Are Vaccinated, Including 99% Who Did Not Seek Exemption
United Airlines has one of the strictest vaccines mandates in the country: employees have no alternative testing option and those front-line workers who have been granted religious or medical exemptions pursuant to federal law may soon go on unpaid leave until the pandemic subsides.
But with the September 27, 2021 deadline now passed, United’s approach seems to have work: only 593 employees have not been vaccinated or sought an exemption. That’s less than 1% of United’s 67,000 USA-based employees.
While United has, thus far, refused to provide the precise number of those who have sought a religious or medical exemption, it has said that the number is “about 3%” of USA-based employees, which works out to about 2,000 people. It is also not clear of those 2,000 employees how many were approved or declined for their exemption.
But even with the exemption requests factored in, United can boast a 96% vaccination rate.
A group of employees has sued United over the vaccinate mandate and as a result, United has delayed the date it will place employees who have requested an exemption on unpaid leave to October 15th. A United spokesperson confirmed to Live and Let’s Fly that United should have a clearer picture of the pending lawsuit after an October 8th hearing.
For the 593 who neither submitted proof of vaccination nor timely requested an exemption, termination will now begin, in accordance with their collective bargaining contract. An employee memo reviewed by Live and Let’s Fly states:
Lastly, for the less than 1% of people who decided to not get vaccinated, we’ll unfortunately begin the process of separation from the airline per our policy. This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority. The pandemic is now killing more than 2,000 people per day – a 65% increase in just the past 30 days – and the most effective way to keep our people safe, is to make sure they’re vaccinated.
However, even after the deadline United has offered an olive branch to employees who still choose to get vaccinated. While United will not rule out disciplinary action short of termination, it promised to work with those employees who have a change of heart.
As I predicted last week, United’s mission is already essentially accomplished, no matter what happens to the last 4% of employees concerning inoculations. Even so, United will “vigorously defend” its vaccine policy and will move to terminate those who are not vaccinated and did not seek an exemption.
> Read More: Lawsuit Against United Airlines On Vaccine Mandate Hinges On Two Key Issues
> Read More: Blaming Lawsuit, United Airlines Delays Unpaid Leave For Unvaccinated Employees Granted Exemptions