Workers have to be vaccinated towards Covid

A traveler wearing a protective mask speaks to an attendant in the Southwest Airlines check-in area at Oakland International Airport in Oakland, California on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines said Monday that its 56,000 workforce will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by December 8 in order to continue working at the airline and joining other airlines that have done so due to new federal regulations similar announcements last week.

The Biden government said last month that employees of federal entrepreneurs must be vaccinated unless given a religious or medical exemption.

Southwest and other major airlines are federal contractors as they fly government employees, cargo, and provide other services such as transportation Flights for evacuees from Afghanistan in August. The new federal guidelines for government contractors are stricter than President’s Joe Bidens plan to increase vaccinations in companies with more than 100 employees by mandating vaccinations or regular Covid tests.

“Southwest Airlines is a federal contractor and we have no choice but to fulfill the US government’s mandate to vaccinate employees and, like other airlines, we are taking steps to comply,” said Gary Kelly, CEO of Dallas based airline said employees on Monday.

Pilot unions at American and Southwest have spoken out strongly against vaccine mandates and stated that Airmen are concerned about the side effects of vaccines

Kelly said the decision that the provisions for medical and religious exemptions are “very limited.”

Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways and American Airlines told her employees last week that they need to be vaccinated as these airlines are also government contractors.

United Airlines mandatory vaccines for their 67,000 US employees in August and more than 96% had uploaded proof of vaccination after the deadline a week ago.

Delta Airlines, also a federal contractor, said it has reviewed federal regulations and has not mandated vaccines for its staff of approximately 80,000 people.

The Atlanta-based airline plans to add a $ 200 monthly surcharge to employee health bonuses for unvaccinated workers over the next month.

“Delta’s own approach to promoting high employee vaccination rates continues to work with an 84% workforce vaccination rate and is increasing daily,” the airline said in a statement.