Delta is the only U.S. airline that has publicly and at a corporate-level rebuked President Joe Biden‘s ‘divisive’ vaccine mandate for companies with 100 or more employees.
CEO Ed Bastian said Saturday that allowing his workers to choose whether to get the coronavirus vaccine has proven effective – as 90 per cent of his employees have already received the jab and he expects that to raise another 5 per cent within the next month regardless of a vaccine mandate.
‘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,’ Bastian told Fox Business.
He claims it’s not effective to ‘force’ the vaccine on staff at Delta Air Lines by threatening them with losing their job, as many other companies are doing following Biden issuing an executive order last month.
The order requires companies with 100 or more employees to mandate the vaccine and obtain proof from their employees of full inoculation by December 8.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which falls under the Labor Department and was directed to carry out the order, has not yet implemented the requirements for private companies – leading to confusion over whether companies need to start requiring vaccinations.
This also means that any companies who have already started implementing compulsory vaccines are acting prematurely since no Labor Department guidance has been released.
‘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 FBN’s The Claman Countdown.
‘A month before the president came out with the mandate, we had already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated,’ he continued. ‘And the good news is the plan is working.’
Bastian told Reuters on Wednesday that the ‘mandate is only one way to get people vaccinated.’
‘It’s a very blunt instrument,’ he continued.
‘It’s better if you can work collaboratively with your employees. You can trust your employees to make the right decisions and respect their decisions.’
Bastian also said Saturday that Delta will offer religious and medical accommodations for those who wish to remain unvaccinated.
Biden’s executive order does allow for at least weekly testing in lieu of employees getting the vaccine.
Airlines other than Delta, like American, are not offering these alternatives.
American Airlines President Robert Isom said Friday he will not bow to the pilots’ union request to allow for ‘alternatives’ to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
‘The executive order doesn’t allow for that,’ Isom falsely claimed in an interview with The Miami Herald.
‘Our team members need to be vaccinated,’ Isom said. ‘It’s really important for our business, for our company, to get the pandemic under control. We want every one of our team members to be vaccinated and, equally important, we want every one of our team members to have a job and continue to work at American.’
As of September 1, 67 per cent of American Airlines employees were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
To be fully vaccinated, an individual must have obtained their final dose of the vaccine two weeks prior.
Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 2,500 flights between October 8-12.
While many claimed this was due to worker walkouts in protest over the vaccine mandates, the airlines is pushing back, claiming the cancellations were due to other reasons like ‘disruptive weather’ and ‘normally approved leave’.
A group of pilots for Southwest, however, asked a court earlier this month to temporarily block the company from carrying out federally mandated coronavirus vaccinations.
United Airlines has reportedly already fired 232 of its 67,000 employees because they refused to comply with its vaccine requirement.Internet Explorer Channel Network