Unions representing United Airlines employees are urging workers get vaccinated or face getting fired by the company this fall.
In a Friday memo, the chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association representing United pilots said that 90% of its members are already vaccinated thanks to incentives already offered by the company, but “we recognize that a small number of pilots do not agree with this new Company policy.”
While the union said “the vaccine requirement represents an employment change we believe warrants further negotiations,” it cautioned that court cases have upheld corporate vaccinate mandates.
The airline joins a growing list of companies including Google, Microsoft and Facebook mandating workers get vaccinated. United has said workers who do not want to get vaccinated by Oct. 25 must show a valid religious reason or face separation.
The union representing United mechanics told CNN that it is “educating” members about the virus.
“We encourage vaccinations, but we are not imposing a mandate on our membership,” said Richard Johnson of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
The United chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants said it has seen a “notable uptick” of positive coronavirus tests over the last two weeks, mostly by workers who are unvaccinated. In a statement, it said 80% of United flight attendants are vaccinated, but “now is not the time to let our guard down.”