Though United is granting lodging for workers who’ve a sound medical or spiritual motive to not get vaccinated, it disclosed this week there can be prices for individuals who cite their spiritual perception as a motive to not be vaccinated.
“Given our give attention to security and the steep will increase in Covid infections, hospitalizations and deaths, all workers whose request is authorized might be positioned on short-term, unpaid private depart on October 2 whereas particular security measures for unvaccinated workers are instituted,” mentioned United’s memo to workers. “Given the dire statistics…we are able to not permit unvaccinated folks again into the office till we higher perceive how they may work together with our clients and their vaccinated co-workers.”
United mentioned a call on whether or not to simply accept an worker’s spiritual objections to vaccination can be made on a case-by-case foundation.
“We’re working laborious to make sure the security of our workers and clients whereas accommodating these workers who’ve sincerely held spiritual beliefs,” mentioned the airline’s assertion.
United has 67,000 energetic US workers lined by the mandate. Just about all non-management workers are represented by a union.
The most important unions at United didn’t object to the airline’s authentic assertion on a vaccine mandate in August. It was unclear whether or not a lot of the unions are able to problem the airline’s stance on unpaid depart for his or her members with spiritual objections to the vaccine. Some didn’t reply to requests for touch upon Friday.
“We’re reviewing our authorized and contractual choices to help these pilots,” mentioned the Air Line Pilots Affiliation in response to a query.
Nevertheless the Teamsters union, which represents greater than 6,000 mechanics on the airline, mentioned merely that it “doesn’t settle for United Airways’ place on this concern.”
United workers positioned on unpaid depart don’t obtain different advantages, comparable to medical insurance coverage, though they’ll preserve protection by paying the total premium themselves underneath Cobra. They do preserve their seniority with the corporate in the course of the unpaid depart. And seniority is a significant component in figuring out workers’ work circumstances, compensation and hours of labor within the airline trade.
United workers who’ve a medical motive for not getting vaccinated might be positioned on paid depart, mentioned United spokesperson Leslie Scott.
— CNN’s Kwegyirba Croffie contributed to this report