United Airlines to let go 232 workers who won't take Covid vaccine

Chicago, Illinois - United Airlines said on Wednesday that it is terminating the contract of 232 employees, who have decided against taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

United Airlines has a 99.7% vaccination rate.
United Airlines has a 99.7% vaccination rate.  © 123RF/boarding1now

United Airlines was the first major carrier to make it mandatory for employees to get vaccinated, after US President Joe Biden's executive order for federal contractors to get fully vaccinated.

Commenting on the decision to terminate jobs, United Airlines CEO Steve Kirby said, "I wish we would have gotten to 100 (%) but out of our 67,000 US employees, there are 232 who haven't been vaccinated and they are going through the termination process now."

The CEO said that the decision to remove the employees from their jobs came after hearing about the loss of a United pilot in July. Kirby said he had spent most of the pandemic writing letters to the family members of United employees killed by the virus.

At present out of the airlines' 67,000 employees, 99.7% are completely vaccinated.

After United Airlines took the decision to fully vaccinate its staff, other airlines like Hawaiian Airlines and Frontier Airlines followed suit. While United has decided to be strict with its employees regarding the vaccine, there are many airlines which are making it voluntary on the part of the employees. United almost doubled the inoculation rate in the two months after the requirements were introduced.

At present, Delta Airlines remains the largest American airlines without a full vaccine mandate, but it still achieved a 90% vaccination rate on Wednesday.

Cover photo: 123RF/boarding1now

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