United Airlines will fire nearly 600 workers who have refused to comply with a requirement to be vaccinated for COVID-19, the company announced on Tuesday.
Apart from the 593 employees who have refused the COVID-19 vaccinations, another 2,000 workers have also asked United Airlines to be exempted from getting vaccinated based on medical or religious grounds.
The nearly 2,600 employees represent about three percent of United Airlines’ total workforce of 67,000 individuals.
The US carrier in early August announced that all US employees would be required to receive the vaccine and upload their vaccine card into the company’s system.
“This is a historic achievement for our airline and our employees as well as for the customers and communities we serve,” read a memo to employees from United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart.
“Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United’s US-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.”
“For the less than one percent of people who decided to not get vaccinated, we’ll unfortunately begin the process of separation from the airline per our policy,” the memo said. “This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority.”