Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News
Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian announced that the airline will not enforce the COVID-19 mandate on their employees, according to Fox Business News.
Bastian called the mandate “divisive” and said that his company has had great responses from employees who have gotten the vaccination without a mandate.
“The reason the mandate was put in by the president, I believe, was because they wanted to make sure companies had a plan to get their employees vaccinated,” Bastian said on “The Claman Countdown” show, adding, “A month before the president came out with the mandate, we had already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated. And the good news is, is the plan is working.”
The airline CEO acknowledged the plethora of reasons – including religious and medical – that a person might have for not wanting to receive the vaccination, saying that the airline will find a way to accommodate employees who reject the jab without threatening their jobs.
Delta reported that despite not demanding the vaccine for job security, more than 90 percent of its employees are currently vaccinated and that they expect that number to rise another 5 percent within the next month.
“By the time we’re done, we’ll be pretty close to fully vaccinated as a company without going through all the divisiveness of a mandate,” Bastian said. “We’re proving that you can work collaboratively with your people, trusting your people to make the right decisions, respecting their decisions and not forcing them over the loss of their jobs.”
Delta’s decision comes on the heels of thousands of Southwest Airlines flights being canceled just days ago over what many believe to have been an unsanctioned union strike over the COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
The “sick-out” caused around 1800 flights to be canceled and came just two days after the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) filed suit asking a federal judge to “temporarily block the company from carrying out federally mandated coronavirus vaccinations until an existing lawsuit over alleged U.S. labor law violations is resolved,” Breitbart News reported.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly also publicly came out against Biden’s order telling CNBC last week that he has “never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate,” adding that “the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines, have to have a [vaccine] mandate.”
According to a report in Skift, Delta, Southwest and most of the major airlines in the United States are part of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, which would allow the Defense Department to take control of the aircraft for military purposes. This makes them, officially, federal contractors, and their employees subject to President Biden’s order pertaining to federal contractors.
The airlines have until Dec. 8 to comply or risk losing their federal contracts.