Southwest Airlines was among the major U.S. airlines initially hesitant to enforce a COVID-19 injection mandate on its employees.
However, the pressure increased after Biden’s unconstitutional mandate on businesses with 100+ employees.
The Biden Administration set a December 8th deadline for compliance to the mandate.
On Monday, Southwest Airlines announced they would comply.
— davidshepardson (@davidshepardson) October 4, 2021
BREAKING: Southwest Airlines is joining United Airlines, JetBlue, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines in requiring their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.#MandatesWork
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) October 5, 2021
Southwest Airlines is requiring that all of its employees be vaccinated against COVID.
The Dallas-based carrier said employees will have until Dec. 8 to provide proof of vaccination or face the possibility of losing their jobs.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 5, 2021
Southwest Airlines requires all US employees to get vaccinated https://t.co/Z52EadmkV2
— Carolyn Evertson: PASS the "Freedom to Vote" Act (@CarolynEvertso1) October 4, 2021
Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) said on Monday it will comply with a Dec. 8 deadline set by President Joe Biden for its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The deadline, set last month under an executive order signed by Biden, covers all federal contractors. Unless employees receive and exemption, they must comply “to continue employment with the airline,” Southwest said.
“Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination directive,” said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly.
In an internal memo seen by Reuters, Southwest said employees must submit vaccination status and submit documentation by Nov. 24. “If you’re not yet fully vaccinated, plan accordingly to meet the deadline,” the memo said.
American Airlines (AAL.O) said on Friday it would also comply but did not specify when it would require vaccinations of employees. Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) CEO Ed Bastian said on Sunday that the company has not decided whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccines.
The White House pressed major U.S. airlines to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees by the deadline for federal contractors to do so. It urged them to follow the lead of United Airlines in requiring shots.
White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients spoke to the chief executives of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines on Thursday to ensure they were working expeditiously to develop and enforce vaccine requirements ahead of that deadline, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Hill added this:
The Dallas-based airline said Monday that all employees must be vaccinated by Dec. 8 due to the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for federal contractors. Between contracts to transport government employees and members of the military and provide other services, the U.S. government is Southwest’s single largest customer.
“Southwest Airlines is a federal contractor and we have no viable choice but to comply with the U.S. government mandate for employees to be vaccinated, and — like other airlines — we’re taking steps to comply,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told employees in a memo.
Southwest employees must show proof of vaccination or get a medical or religious exemption to continue employment with the airline, the company said.
Delta Airlines remains the last major U.S. airline to not enforce a COVID-19 injection mandate on its employees.
But Delta remains undecided on the issue.
Unfortunately, I think it’s a matter of time before Delta joins the other airlines and capitulates with the mandate.
My prediction is Delta will comply like Southwest.