United Airlines CEO to tell employees you must vaccinate to continue working
Mandatory vaccine for United employees planned.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has indicated this week that he intends to make it compulsory for workers to take the coronavirus vaccine.
Speaking at an employee town hall meeting on Thursday, Kirby said: “I know the vaccines are safe. I know that it’s the way to ensure the safety of our employees, ensure the safety of our customers, as we fly around the world. So, if others go along and are willing to start to mandate vaccines, you should probably expect United to be amongst the first wave of companies that do it.”
“The worst thing that I believe I will ever do in my career is the letters that I have written to the surviving family members of coworkers that we have lost to the coronavirus.”
A United spokesperson confirmed in a statement Friday that the company was “strongly considering” making vaccines compulsory, though it isn’t a policy yet.
The carrier had over 60,000 active US-based employees at the end of 2020. Since the start of the new year, the airline has issued recall notices to some 17,000 more employees whose jobs were cut last year.
Although airline employees are considered essential workers and are likely to be prioritised in receiving the vaccine before many others, the rollout so far has been slow and chaotic with the United States running behind its targets.
Other carriers in the US, such as American and Southwest, have so far only strongly encouraged employees to get vaccinated.
Some companies are going as far as providing additional pay in attempt to persuade workers to get the vaccine.