Southwest and American Airlines WILL require staff to get Covid shot despite Texas mandate ban

American Airlines said while it was reviewing Abbott's executive order, 'this does not change anything' for the company. The airline said Tuesday that they would require their employees to be fully vaccinated by December 8 in compliance with the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for all federal contractors, which they said supersedes Abbott's order

Texas-based American Airlines and Southwest Airlines said on Tuesday they would order their staff to get the Covid vaccine – in defiance of Governor Gregg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.

The airlines said they would comply with President Joe Biden’s executive order which requires airline employees to be vaccinated by December 8.

Also on Tuesday, Chicago-based Boeing said  that its employees must be vaccinated against COVID or face being. The policy will apply to roughly 125,000 U.S.-based employees company-wide, about 5,000 of them based in Texas.

The two Texas-based carriers, American and Southwest, said the federal mandate superseded an order issued on Monday by Republican Governor Greg Abbott barring COVID-19 vaccine mandates by any entity, including private employers.

Southwest said it ‘would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.’ 

American Airlines said while it was reviewing Abbott’s executive order, ‘this does not change anything’ for the company. The airline said Tuesday that they would require their employees to be fully vaccinated by December 8 in compliance with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for all federal contractors, which they said supersedes Abbott’s order

In his executive order, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (pictured) said the Biden administration was 'bullying' many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions

In his executive order, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (pictured) said the Biden administration was ‘bullying’ many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions

American said while it was reviewing Abbott’s executive order, ‘this does not change anything’ for the company.

The two Texas-based carriers have asked US-based employees to submit proof of vaccination by November 24.  

‘Compliance with these requirements is a condition of employment,’ states a Boeing internal presentation from Tuesday, according to the Seattle Times. 

‘Employees who are unable to meet these requirements … may be released from the company,’ although they can request exemptions ‘due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief.’ 

Any employee granted such an exemption will have to ‘undergo frequent testing for COVID-19’ and be ready to ‘present a negative test result upon request.’

Seattle-based Boeing said Tuesday that its employees must be vaccinated against COVID or possibly be fired. The policy will apply to roughly 125,000 U.S.-based employees company-wide, about 5,000 of them based in Texas

Seattle-based Boeing said Tuesday that its employees must be vaccinated against COVID or possibly be fired. The policy will apply to roughly 125,000 U.S.-based employees company-wide, about 5,000 of them based in Texas

Biden issued his mandate last month as his administration struggled to control the pandemic, which has killed more than 700,000 Americans. It covers all federal contractors.

While supporters of vaccine mandates see them as necessary to pull the country out of the nearly two-year-old pandemic, critics are calling them unconstitutional and authoritarian.

United Airlines in August became the first U.S. carrier to require vaccinations for all domestic employees.

Six United employees have filed a class action in federal court in Texas claiming that workers who sought exemptions from the vaccine mandate were subjected to intrusive inquiries about their medical conditions or religious beliefs, including a requirement that they obtain letters from pastors.

The court, which is due to hear the case on Wednesday, issued an order on Tuesday restraining the airline until October 26 from placing on unpaid leave any employee who receives religious or medical exemptions from the company for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Six employees of United Airlines, which became the first U.S. carrier in August to require vaccinations for all domestic employees, have filed a class action in federal court in Texas claiming that workers who sought exemptions from the vaccine mandate were subjected to intrusive inquiries about their medical conditions or religious beliefs, including a requirement that they obtain letters from pastors

Six employees of United Airlines, which became the first U.S. carrier in August to require vaccinations for all domestic employees, have filed a class action in federal court in Texas claiming that workers who sought exemptions from the vaccine mandate were subjected to intrusive inquiries about their medical conditions or religious beliefs, including a requirement that they obtain letters from pastors

The court also temporarily restrained United from denying any late requests for religious or medical accommodations.

 Jon Holden, president of International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751, in his message to members in the October issue of the union paper, wrote that “the reality is our members are polarized on this issue.”

 ‘It is our responsibility to defend and advocate for all our members,’ Holden added. And though he noted that he and his family are vaccinated, the union must also defend ‘those who can´t or won´t accept the vaccine.’

The white-collar union, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), said in a statement Tuesday it is engaging with Boeing ‘to ensure implementation gives proper consideration to members’ concerns.’  

In his executive order, Abbott said the Biden administration was ‘bullying’ many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions.

In its response, the White House said on Tuesday that Abbott’s order was out of step with businesses in the state. Press secretary Jen Psaki said the governor’s decision was motivated by politics, not science.   

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