Like the remainder of the airline business, United Airways is being clobbered by omicron. At Newark Airport just lately, practically one-third of its workforce referred to as in sick on a single day. However in a memo sent to workers on Tuesday, CEO Scott Kirby pointed to at least one specific early but tough decision United made that he’s grow to be very happy with: giving all 67,000 of its U.S. staff the selection to both get vaccinated or be fired.
He says a ton of United staff presently have COVID-19, as the corporate continues to should cancel flights and grapple with the quickly spreading new variant.
“Along with impacting our operation and our prospects, I do know that Omicron has affected the non-public well-being of our United workforce,” his letter says. “We’ve got about 3,000 staff who’re presently optimistic for COVID.” Nonetheless, he goes on to notice a serious enchancment in a single space: “Previous to our vaccine requirement, multiple worker on common *per week* was dying from COVID. However we’ve now gone eight straight weeks with zero COVID-related deaths amongst our vaccinated staff.”
— davidshepardson (@davidshepardson) January 11, 2022
Again in August, United grew to become the primary airline to announce a companywide mandate for the vaccine—both get it, otherwise you’re gone. In a interval of two months, it went from 59% of its staff being vaccinated to more than 99% (minus a small subset who have been exempt). Kirby referred to as this “a historic achievement.”
The anti-vax crowd protested loudly, and a small group of United staff even sued to dam enforcement, however a federal courtroom dismissed their suit in mid-December. Because the fall, based mostly on United’s information and the nationwide statistics for unvaccinated employees, Kirby notes which means “there are roughly 8-10 employees who’re alive at this time due to our vaccine requirement.” He additionally says that of United’s 3,000 staff who’ve COVID proper now, not a single vaccinated worker is presently hospitalized.
Kirby ends his letter by saying, “In coping with COVID, zero is the phrase that issues—zero deaths and nil hospitalizations for vaccinated staff.” He provides: “Whereas I do know that some individuals nonetheless disagree with our coverage, United is proving that requiring the vaccine is the best factor to do as a result of it saves lives.”