United CEO confirms 232 employees are being fired for not complying with its vaccine mandate

Business

Yahoo News 13 October, 2021 - 09:31am

CEO Scott Kirby said that 99.7% of United's 67,000 US employees have been vaccinated.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order likely won't affect United since nearly all workers are vaccinated.

United Airlines is currently in the process of terminating its remaining US employees that are unvaccinated against COVID-19. A total of 232 employees in the US have chosen not to be vaccinated, CEO Scott Kirby told CBS Mornings, out of the airline's 67,000.

"I wish we would have gotten to 100% but out of our 67,000 US employees, there are 232 who haven't been vaccinated and they are going through the termination process now," Kirby said on Wednesday.

United was the first US airline to mandate vaccines when it announced in August that employees would have until October 25 or five weeks from the first full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration, whichever came first. Pfizer's vaccine was given that approval on August 23, starting the clock for United employees.

Kirby said he made the decision after hearing about the loss of a United pilot in July, after spending the worst of the pandemic writing letters to the family members of United employees lost to the virus.

"The second time I got notified of an employee - it was a 57-year-old pilot that had passed away - I walked around for half an hour and finally called our team and said 'enough is enough,'" he told CBS. "We can do something about this, we believe in safety."

"And weeks later, we got 99.7% of our employees vaccinated," he said

United then made the landmark announcement the month following and started a trend for US airlines, with rival carriers like Hawaiian Airlines and Frontier Airlines soon following with similar mandates. Some airlines, however, continued to offer a testing opt-out that one public health expert told Insider may prove less effective without regular testing of multiple viral tests per week.

United's mandate wasn't without pushback, as evidenced by the 232 holdouts and more employees that Kirby said "did disagree" with the action. Kirby said he took an "empathetic" approach over an argumentative one to win the majority of his workforce over.

"I tried not to argue with them about it," he said. "We're not going to win the arguments on this with people. And I respect that you have a different opinion but you now have a decision to make about whether you want to get vaccinated and stay at United or not."

Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors has taken the decision out of the hands of airlines, and some of the final holdouts including Southwest Airlines and American Airlines announced their plans for a mandate in early October.

Delta remains the largest US airline without a full vaccine mandate but reported a vaccination rate of around 90% on Wednesday. Workers can opt for testing over a vaccination but the opt-out comes with a requirement to wear masks and an additional $200 added on to monthly insurance premiums.

Kirby also isn't concerned about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order barring employees from checking vaccine status given the high vaccination rate the company has achieved.

"Because this is in the rear-view mirror for us, we don't have to be as focused on what does this really mean in the short-term because we already got everybody vaccinated," he said. "My responsibility is to try to do the right thing for United Airlines and what I think is safe."

Read the original article on Business Insider

United Airlines is giving each of its employees a $1,000 bonus. Scott Kirby, CEO of the Chicago-based carrier that employs an approximate 67,000 people, announced the bonus plan yesterday during a ceremony at a hangar at George Bush International Airport in Houston to honor the airline's top 100 employees from the previous year. Instead of honoring 100 employees this year, Kirby announced that all employees would get the bonus "for their exceptional work during 2020."

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United Airlines is in the process of firing 232 employees who failed to comply with the air carrier’s vaccine mandate, said CEO Scott Kirby on CBS ‘This Morning.’ “The fact that we could get to 99.7% in less than eight weeks I think proves that you can make a vaccine mandate work as long as you’re open, honest, and transparent with people about why you’re doing it,” Kirby said. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman ordered United to temporarily halt its plan until he could hear arguments in the case.

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Read full article at Yahoo News

United Airlines lawsuit: COVID vaccine mandate on hold for those seeking exemptions after TX suit

WLS-TV 13 October, 2021 - 08:24am

United Airlines news: Shot mandate on hold for those seeking exemption

United Airlines Gives All Employees $1,000 Bonus

One Mile at a Time 13 October, 2021 - 06:29am

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has this week announced that all active employees will receive a $1,000 bonus on their paycheck next month. This is intended to thank team members for their hard work during the pandemic.

Not only is this an awesome gesture, but $1,000 will make a big difference for many people. Maybe not a huge difference for a captain making $300K per year, but for some employees this could be a couple of weeks worth of pay.

United has over 80,000 employees, so that’s a minimum of $80 million in bonus payments. I guess those airline bailout funds have to be spent somehow. 😉

As I’ve written about before, I’ve been impressed by United CEO Scott Kirby. I never thought I’d say that based on his time as Doug Parker’s right-hand man at American Airlines, US Airways, and America West, but he has taken a different approach at United, and has proven himself.

While I think Kirby is doing a lot of the right things, I still think United’s biggest weakness is the general service culture. There’s no consistency to service at United, and employees range from great to awful. I wonder if these gestures, along with United generally not having quite the division we’re seeing at other airlines right now, could positively impact that in the long-run.

United Airlines is giving all employees a $1,000 bonus, to thank them for their hard work. This is a lovely gesture, and it’s quite a contrast to the general state of relations between management and employees at other airlines. Here’s to hoping that this continues to lead to an improved service culture at United.

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IME, there’s been a noticeable improvement in cabin crew service at United.

United isn’t the best at everything, but over COVID they’ve certainly been the best at acknowledging shortcomings and improving on them.

Delta entered COVID in a position of strength, whereas United had the strongest unions and largest reliance on international flying.

They might not have surpassed Delta, but they’re certainly on track. Bravo United!

We’ve seen rumblings that some employees at American and Southwest will disrupt holiday travel to protest the vaccine mandate, so for those airlines the worst may still be ahead of them when it comes to operational issues;

No. Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is what is disrupting the airline industry. The guy doesn’t even know what day it is.

Lol a lot of other countries and other airlines domestically are handling it well

Don’t like it? Fly lol catch up with the rest of the world buddy

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Lol a lot of other countries and other airlines domestically are handling it well Don’t like it? Fly lol catch up with the rest of the world buddy

IME, there’s been a noticeable improvement in cabin crew service at United. United isn’t the best at everything, but over COVID they’ve certainly been the best at acknowledging shortcomings and improving on them. Delta entered COVID in a position of strength, whereas United had the strongest unions and largest reliance on international flying. They might not have surpassed Delta, but they’re certainly on track. Bravo United!

We’ve seen rumblings that some employees at American and Southwest will disrupt holiday travel to protest the vaccine mandate, so for those airlines the worst may still be ahead of them when it comes to operational issues; No. Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is what is disrupting the airline industry. The guy doesn’t even know what day it is.

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