A traveler carrying a protecting mask speaks with an attendant at the Southwest Airways test-in place at Oakland Worldwide Airport in Oakland, California, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Photos
Southwest Airways stated Monday that its 56,000-particular person workforce have to be vaccinated towards Covid-19 by Dec. 8 to carry on doing work at the airline due to the fact of new federal rules, joining other carriers who created related announcements last 7 days.
The Biden administration last month explained team of federal contractors ought to be vaccinated, until they are granted a spiritual or professional medical exemption.
Southwest and other major airlines are federal contractors given that they fly federal government staff, cargo and offer other assistance, this kind of as flights for Afghanistan evacuees in August. The new federal recommendations for governing administration contractors are stricter than individuals in President Joe Biden’s plan to maximize vaccinations amid providers with extra than 100 personnel by necessitating inoculations or standard Covid testing.
“Southwest Airways is a federal contractor and we have no feasible choice but to comply with the U.S. govt mandate for Workers to be vaccinated, and — like other airways — we are using methods to comply,” Gary Kelly, CEO of the Dallas-primarily based airline, explained to staff on Monday.
Pilots unions at American and Southwest have strongly opposed vaccine mandates, expressing aviators are worried about side outcomes from vaccines
Kelly stated the decision that the provisions for professional medical and spiritual exemptions are “are quite limited.”
Alaska Airways, JetBlue Airways and American Airlines final week instructed their workers that they have to be vaccinated considering the fact that all those airlines are government contractors as perfectly.
United Airways mandated vaccines for its 67,000-man or woman U.S. team in August and additional than 96% had uploaded proof of inoculation soon after the deadline a 7 days back.
Delta Air Strains, also a federal contractor, stated it is analyzing the federal rules and hasn’t mandated vaccines for its employees of about 80,000 people.
The Atlanta-centered airline next thirty day period ideas to impose a $200 regular monthly surcharge on worker overall health treatment premiums for unvaccinated workers.
“Delta’s very own solution to encourage a superior level of staff vaccinations carries on to function, with an 84% workforce vaccination fee and climbing daily,” the airline reported in a statement.