Southwest Airlines won’t fire unvaccinated employees: ‘It makes no sense’


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Southwest said no one would lose their jobs on December 9, even if the airline was not ‘fully in compliance’.

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Southwest Airlines vowed Thursday that employees would be fired for not getting a coronavirus vaccine, arguing it “doesn’t make sense.”

While the airline encourages “every employee” to get vaccinated, it does not want to “lose any employees” over President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate, Southwest said in a statement to Granthshala Business.

anchor the protection The last Change Change %
LUV Southwest Airlines Company 47.90 -0.80 -1.65%

Earlier this month, Southwest announced that it would have to mandate vaccines in order to comply. with new rules Companies with federal contracts from the Biden administration are required to fully vaccinate employees. Southwest said workers should be fully vaccinated by December 8, although workers can still seek approval to skip shots for medical or religious reasons.

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Regardless of the deadline, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call that no one will lose their jobs on December 9, even if the airline isn’t “fully compliant.”

“We’re not going to fire anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated,” Kelly said. “How we work through people who don’t get vaccinated or look for housing, we have to figure that out and we’re working with the government on that.”

Union says American Airlines flight attendants without vaccinations won’t be immediately fired if they miss deadline

According to Kelly, the carrier is currently trying to strike a balance between maintaining its status as a government contractor while taking care of its employees.

“It doesn’t mean we won’t respect it and find a way to work with our people on it,” he said.

anchor the protection The last Change Change %
came American Airlines Group, Inc. 19.43 -0.46 -2.31%
UAL United Airlines Holdings, Inc. 46.67 -0.05 -0.11%

The last thing Kelly wants is “people fear they won’t be able to work or have a job,” especially as the holiday season approaches.

Moving forward, the carrier said it plans to work with and understand each employee’s individual situation, while it “continues to work toward compliance with the federal mandate.”

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earlier this week, American AirlinesThe flight attendants union also said its members would not be fired immediately if they were not vaccinated by the carrier’s November deadline. It noted that officials are “looking for accommodation that will allow employees to continue working.”

In contrast, United Airlines’ 67,000 US-based employees had a tough September 27 deadline to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs – except for a few exemptions.

The carrier, which has taken the strongest pro-vaccination stance among US airlines, confirmed last week that less than 1% of its employees, or 232 employees, were in the process of being fired for not meeting deadlines.

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