United Airlines’s CEO said he believes companies should require employees get vaccinated for COVID-19 during a townhall with employees Thursday, according to a transcript provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The airline is weighing a vaccine mandate for employees and there are “logistical challenges that we need to work through before” that happens, the company noted to the DCNF. (RELATED: Couple Reportedly Arrested For Flying After Testing Positive For COVID-19)
“I think the right thing to do is for United Airlines, and for other companies, to require the vaccines and to make them mandatory,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said, according to the transcript.
The company also noted that Kirby disclosed the information to the company’s workers “in the interest of transparency.”
Kirby said the company has to overcome “logistical challenges” for the endeavor, according to the transcript. The CEO said he doesn’t think the company will be alone in mandating the vaccinations.
“We need some others. We need some others to show leadership. Particularly in the healthcare industry,” Kirby said, according to the transcript.
“And in this case, I know the vaccines are safe. I know that it’s the way to ensure the safety of our employees, ensure the safety of our customers, as we fly around the world,” Kirby said, according to the transcript.
“So, if others go along and are willing to start to mandate vaccines, you should probably expect United to be amongst the first wave of companies that do it,” Kirby said, according to the transcript.
United Airlines’s note to employees said staffers should receive the vaccine at their earliest convenience without waiting on their guidance, according to CNBC. The note said they’re collaborating with government officials and health-care providers so that vaccine distribution centers can be established in some of their largest areas.
Workers at airlines are deemed essential workers and have been part of the first groups to get vaccinated, CNBC reported.
United Airlines had about 60,000 workers who were actively stationed in the U.S. by the end of 2020, The Hill reported. The company, so far in 2021, has sent approximately 17,000 recall notices after the most recent coronavirus relief package provided more relief for airline companies.
The vaccine’s distribution has been both slow and tumultuous and the U.S. has been missing their goals, CNBC reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now mandating everyone flying to the U.S. to test negative for the coronavirus, according to a Tuesday media statement.
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