United Airlines announced Tuesday that it will be terminating 593 employees who have not complied with the company’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
The airline reported the vast majority of its 67,000 employees are in compliance with the airline’s vaccine requirement, 3% were granted a religious exemption, however, 593 employees failed to present proof of vaccination by the Sep. 27 deadline and are now facing termination, according to company officials.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart wrote in a memo sent to employees Tuesday.
“Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United’s U.S.-based employees was simple — to keep our people safe — and the truth is this: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated, and vaccine requirements work,” the memo read.
While United Airlines has been the first to enforce such a strict vaccine adherence policy, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta have instead adopted policies to motivate employees to be vaccinated, Southwest Airlines rolled out an incentive policy that offers a bonus of two days pay to workers who present proof of vaccination by Nov. 15, Delta’s employees not vaccinated by Nov. 2021 will be required to pay a monthly surcharge in the $200.