Airline CEO Says Business Leaders Have ‘No Choice’ But to Require COVID Vaccination
Chicago, IL – The chief executive officer of a major airline says U.S. business leaders have “no choice” when deciding whether or not to impose vaccination requirements for employees.
In an interview on Tuesday with CNN, Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, said he hopes the Chicago-based airline will only lose “a small number” of employees after, earlier this month, it imposed a requirement that its 67,000 employees take the COVID-19 vaccine or lose their jobs.
Despite the possible losses to the company’s workforce, Kirby is standing by his decision.
“What I do know is when it comes to safety and saving lives, business consideration is short term and we’ll deal with whatever the ramifications are,” Kirby commented. “You just have no choice as a business leader but to do the right thing and require vaccines regardless of what the ramifications are ultimately going to be.”
“We’re losing about one to three employees per week … to Covid. 100% are unvaccinated. We haven’t had anyone in the last couple months lose their life that is vaccinated,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby says about mandating vaccines for employees. https://t.co/zrEc91a4Yq pic.twitter.com/tzbrHeQllR
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 24, 2021
Following yesterday’s announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its full and final approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, the airline moved its employee vaccination deadline up to September 20, 2021.
According to Kirby, 91-percent of pilots and 82-percent of flight attendants have complied thus far.
Additionally, Kirby indicated the airline would be supportive of a vaccine mandate for interstate travelers and airline passengers as well, but said that decision should be left to the federal government.
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As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) recently reported, the Biden Administration has been discussing imposing such a mandate for all interstate and air travelers.
According to the Associated Press, White House officials believe it “would be too polarizing at this time,” but still leave open the possibility of imposing it “as public opinion continues to shift toward requiring vaccinations as a means to restore normalcy.”
Meanwhile, thousands of Tyson Foods’ truckers are already facing the choice of whether to be vaccinated or find another job after the Springdale, AR-corporation announced its 120,000 U.S. employees — including its more than 2,500 truck drivers — must take the COVID-19 vaccine no later than November 21, 2021.
Most trucking business leaders have so far been hesitant to impose such a mandate fearing an exodus of its workforce at a time when the supply chain is already stressed.
However, that could change in the weeks ahead.
TransportationNation.com will continue to watch it closely.