In August, United rolled out one of the most comprehensive employee vaccination policies in the country. Now, seven weeks later, the company announced that more than 99% of the employees chose to get vaccinated. This does exclude those who submitted for other accommodations, like for medical or religious reasons.
United calls this a historic achievement for the airline and its employees, customers and communities it serves.
Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United’s U.S.-based employees was simple to keep our people safe and the truth is this: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated, and vaccine requirements work.Scott Kirby & Brett Hart, CEO and President of United Airlines
We want to start by thanking the tens of thousands of employees who got their shot. Your notes of support and appreciation these past few weeks made all the difference and your public advocacy has undoubtedly played a role in convincing others to get vaccinated as well. And we know for some, that decision was a reluctant one.
In a memo to Unites Airlines employees, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart continued to thank employees for getting involved in the vaccination process. They went on to also address the issues of concern that some employees also felt.
But there’s no doubt in our minds that some of you will have avoided a future hospital stay – or even death – because you got vaccinated. For those who submitted for a medical or religious accommodation, we have extended the deadline for implementing the accommodations in light of a pending court case.Scott Kirby & Brett Hart, CEO and President of United Airlines
Kirby and Hart even included a message in reference to those employees who chose not to get vaccinated and the reason the company made the decision it did.
Lastly, for the less than 1% of people who decided to not get vaccinated, well unfortunately begin the process of separation from the airline per our policy. This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority. The pandemic is now killing more than 2,000 people per day — a 65% increase in just the past 30 days and the most effective way to keep our people safe, is to make sure they’re vaccinated. We have no greater responsibility than to ensure everyone’s safety at work. And now that nearly all of our U.S. employees are vaccinated, we take another important step forward as we emerge from the pandemic as a better, stronger United Airlines.Scott Kirby & Brett Hart/ CEO and President of United Airlines