United Airlines moves to fire 232 employees who have refused to get Covid vaccine - as Texas judge blocks company from putting 2,000 workers on unpaid leave if they're seeking religious or medical exemption

Texas Judge Mark Pittman granted a restraining order against United Airlines, restricting the company from putting almost 2,000 employees on unpaid leaveUnited CEO Scott Kirby, 54, imposed a vaccine mandate on August 6 and has reported that 99.7 per cent of the 67,000 employees are vaccinated Six employees filed a federal lawsuit against the airline, citing unpaid leave as an unreasonable accommodation In addition to the 2,000 employees waiting on medical and religious exemptions, United is terminating 232 employees who refused the vaccine Kirby cites being 'open, honest, and transparent' with employees was the key to getting employees vaccinated, even if they disagreed  

United Airlines is terminating the employment of 232 workers who have refused to get vaccinated, CEO Scott Kirby has confirmed – as a Texas judge temporarily blocked the airline from putting 2,000 workers on unpaid leave if they’re seeking religious or medical exemptions.

Kirby, 54, told CBS Mornings on Wednesday that the company had reached 99.7 per cent of their employees vaccinated in the six-weeks since announcing a vaccine mandate on August 6. 

United was the first airline to require all employees to be vaccinated.

‘You know, I wish we would have gotten to 100 per cent, but out of our 67,000 US employees there are 232 who have not been vaccinated and they are going through the termination process,’ he said.

It came after U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman from Northern Texas granted a temporary restraining order against United on Tuesday restricting the company from putting employees on unpaid leave for seeking medical and religious exemptions from the mandate. 

Six employees filed a federal lawsuit against United, citing unpaid leave as an unreasonable accommodation. 

The restraining order expires October 26, leaving around 2,000 United employees at risk of losing their jobs. 

United CEO Scott Kirby, 54, (above) announced that 99.7 per cent of his 67,000 employees are vaccinated and the 232 who refused the vaccine are going through the termination process
Texas District Judge Mark Pittman (above) placed a restraining order against United Airlines, restricting them from putting around 2,000 unvaccinated employees seeking medical or religious exemptions on unpaid leave

Texas District Judge Mark Pittman (right) placed a restraining order against United Airlines, restricting them from putting around 2,000 unvaccinated employees seeking medical or religious exemptions on unpaid leave. United CEO Scott Kirby, 54, (left) announced that 99.7 per cent of his 67,000 employees are vaccinated and the 232 who refused the vaccine are going through the termination process 

Those with religious exemptions were told in a company memo that they would be placed on unpaid leave while the airline put in addition safety mitigation measures, including ‘new testing regimens, temporary job reassignments, and masking protocols.’ 

Lawyers for the employees and the airline agreed last month that United wouldn’t put the workers on unpaid leave, but the judge wrote that the agreement will expire before he can rule on the merits of the matter. 

That would leave ‘hundreds of workers’ at risk of being put on indefinite unpaid leave or forced to get a vaccination that violates their religious beliefs or medical restrictions.

On Wednesday, Kirby defended the Chicago-based company’s vaccine mandate, despite Texas Governor Abbott banning all mandates. 

And he claimed the mandate has not disrupted United workforce, including at their Houston hub. 

United announced its vaccine mandate on August 6 and told employees in a company memo that all unvaccinated employees seeking exemptions will be put on unpaid leave while the company implemented 'new testing regimens, temporary job reassignments, and masking protocols'

United announced its vaccine mandate on August 6 and told employees in a company memo that all unvaccinated employees seeking exemptions will be put on unpaid leave while the company implemented ‘new testing regimens, temporary job reassignments, and masking protocols’

‘I think we’ve proven at United, that’s just not the case. If you put a vaccinate mandate out there and you explain why you’re doing it and if you’re open, honest, and transparent with your employees about why you’re doing it, and even when some of them disagree – and a lot of them did disagree,’ Kirby told CBS Mornings. 

‘You know, the fact that we could get to 99.7 per cent in less than eight weeks, I think [it] proves you can make a vaccine mandate work as long your open, honest, and transparent on why you’re doing it.’  

Several airlines have followed in United footsteps, including Texas-based companies American and Southwest Airlines who have both claimed they will ignore Governor Abbott mandate ban. 

Kirby said he wished the company had achieved 100 per cent vaccination, but believed mandates worked and being ‘open, honest, and transparent’ was the key to getting employees onboard 

Abbott’s order mean American and Southwest could face a $1,000 fine for forcing employees to receive a vaccine because employees could lose their livelihoods. 

The order is set to protect employees from ‘losing their livelihoods’ by not being forced to get vaccinated or lose their jobs, according to the Washington Post. 

Georgia-based airline Delta has not mandated vaccines for employees, but is imposing a $200 monthly surcharge against unvaccinated members and requires them to be tested weekly. 

Delta has reported that 90 per cent of its workforce is vaccinated, according to the Hill. 

 

Travelers face rocketing prices and plane cancelations over holiday season as American and JetBlue set staff vaccination deadline for the day before Thanksgiving, sparking fears of staff walkouts and chaos

 As the holiday season rapidly approaches in the US, travelers who have not seen their families in months – and in some cases, years – face pricey plane trips and unexpected cancellations as airlines demand their employees get vaccinated.

What’s more, in addition to the astronomical airfares, unexpected cancellations and shocking wait times, travelers who elect to cross the states by car will have to deal with far higher gas prices than usual. 

Both American Airlines and JetBlue issued mandates this month requiring their employees get the jab before the holidays. 

The airlines have demanded their staff get their second shot of the COVID vaccine by November 24 – the day before Thanksgiving.

Any staff who’ve refused could walk out or face the ax on the busiest travel day in the American calendar, triggering a flood of flight cancelations due to a sudden shortage of staff.   

If a meltdown like that happens, flights that do end up taking off will see ticket prices soar even higher than normal for the pricey time of year as travelers whose planes have been canceled push up prices for other flights that remain scheduled.  

With Thanksgiving approaching and COVID restrictions relaxed from last year, experts say expect high airfares, long lines, and sudden cancellations

With Thanksgiving approaching and COVID restrictions relaxed from last year, experts say expect high airfares, long lines, and sudden cancellations

With COVID-19 travel restrictions relaxed from last year, record numbers of people are expected to hit airports in the coming months to travel to visit family they likely have not seen since the start of the pandemic

With COVID-19 travel restrictions relaxed from last year, record numbers of people are expected to hit airports in the coming months to travel to visit family they likely have not seen since the start of the pandemic

JetBlue have 22,000 staff, but have not said how many of their staff have had the shot. American – the world’s biggest airline – has 133,000 staff, and has also yet to disclose figures on how many of its workers are still to be vaccinated.  

What’s more, after nearly two years of reduced ridership, airlines have increased ticket prices to make up lost profits.

The average price for a US Thanksgiving flight is up 13 percent from 2019 – and a shocking 37 percent from last year.  

U.S. carriers’ 2020 net losses after the pandemic were in the billions, according to analyst estimates provided by the software company FactSet – and airlines are still projected to have lost more than $200 billion through next year.

Anyone hoping to save money by traveling by car is also in for a nasty shock, with  national average gas prices soaring by 50.75 per cent in a year.

A gallon of gas now costs $3.288, up $1.107 from the same time last year. The rocketing price increase has been blamed on a spike in the cost of crude oil, as demand bounces back quickly as the world reopens post-COVID. 

Economists predict prices are set to rise for an extended period of time, meaning there’s little hope of any respite for Thanksgiving.  

However, with COVID-19 travel restrictions relaxed from last year, record numbers of travelers are expected to traverse the country in the coming months to visit family they likely have not seen since the start of the pandemic.

'Expect airports and flights to be more packed than ever around Thanksgiving and Christmas,' Narendra Khatri, a travel insurance company executive, told The Washington Post last month. 'This means more flight delays, cancellations and long layovers.'

‘Expect airports and flights to be more packed than ever around Thanksgiving and Christmas,’ Narendra Khatri, a travel insurance company executive, told The Washington Post last month. ‘This means more flight delays, cancellations and long layovers.’

Any airline staff who've refused airlines' forced mask mandates could end up walking out on the job or face the ax - on the busiest travel day in the American calendar - triggering a flood of flight cancelations due to a sudden shortage of staff

Any airline staff who’ve refused airlines’ forced mask mandates could end up walking out on the job or face the ax – on the busiest travel day in the American calendar – triggering a flood of flight cancelations due to a sudden shortage of staff

This AAA chart shows how gas prices have rocketed this year, with holiday motorists set to face a hard time at the pumps

This AAA chart shows how gas prices have rocketed this year, with holiday motorists set to face a hard time at the pumps 

‘We’re seeing a lot of pent-up demand,’ Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning and scheduling for another major airline, United, said in a statement.

The airline announced last month that holiday flight searches on their website are up 16 percent on their site compared to 2019. 

Meanwhile, interest in domestic flights for the Thanksgiving season is up a whopping 111 percent over last year, according to the travel site Trip Actions.

‘Expect airports and flights to be more packed than ever around Thanksgiving and Christmas,’ Narendra Khatri, a travel insurance company executive, told The Washington Post last month.

‘This means more flight delays, cancellations and long layovers.’ 

And prices are up too – across all of the major airlines.

For domestic flights, the average fare is $377, up 13 percent from 2019 and 37 percent from 2020. International flights are flat compared with 2019, averaging about $968 this year, but up 18 percent from last year. 

American Airline execs told their workers that they must be fully vaccinated by November 24 - the day before Thanksgiving - or face termination

American Airline execs told their workers that they must be fully vaccinated by November 24 – the day before Thanksgiving – or face termination

The airlines’ ultimatum comes after President Joe Biden’s executive order last month  requiring all airline employees be vaccinated by December 8 – and the two companies now join an assortment of other carriers who have complied with the White House’s demand.

Columbus Day weekend already saw an unprecedented stream of delays for another major airline, Southwest, when more than 2,300 flights were suddenly canceled over the course of the holiday weekend, amid rumors that hordes of pilots objecting to Biden’s mandate called out sick in protest.

Both the airline and its pilots union have denied those sick-out claims, although Southwest has suffered many times more cancelations in recent days than any other US airline.  

The head of Southwest’s pilots union, Capt. Casey Murray, blamed the company’s management for the snafu.  

Southwest has already been hampered by staffing shortages as demand for travel has shot up after travel laws lessened. 

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The evil serial killer murders a same-sex couple living in his childhood home in Halloween Kills, the latest movie in the horror franchise The scene prompted critics to accuse Myers of homophobia on Twitter While some of the tweets calling out the masked murderer's perceived prejudice were clearly in jest, they prompted a fierce debateOutraged horror fans pointed out that Myers kills everyone he comes acrossOthers argued that it would be homophobic if the Halloween villain didn't kill the gay couple because then he wouldn't be treating them equally  Read more »

Chicago woman is jailed for trying to hire hitman to kill new lover of her cop ex-girlfriend who serves as bodyguard for city's mayor Lori Lightfoot: Wanted victim to be burned alive in car

Lissette Ortiz, 56, was sentenced to ten years for trying to hire someone to abduct and kill the woman who was dating her ex-girlfriend Marni WashingtonHer ex Marni Washington is a 17-year Chicago PD veteran and officer assigned to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detailIn August 2019 Washington was acquitted of the domestic battery charges after Ortiz accused the officer of abusing herOrtiz met with the undercover police officer in November 2019 and she told him to abduct the woman then set the car on fire with the woman inside it She wanted her intended victim, who hasn't been named, to be locked in a car that would then be set alight. Ortiz, who was sentenced to 10 years, was given credit for the 697 days she has been jailed and will be eligible for parole in November 2024 Read more »

Minnesota surgeon says he was FIRED after telling school officials at public meeting that parents should have the right to decide if their children wear masks to school

Dr. Jeffrey Horak spoke before the school board at a public meeting in the town of Fergus Falls on October 11He gave a speech against the school's temporary mask mandate, which had gone into effect the day prior He then suggested God had placed parents in charge of the students' behavior over the school board Just nine days later, on October 20, Horak claims he was fired by Lake Region Healthcare, being told his 'views were no longer congruent' with the providerDr. Greg Smith, president of the company's board, said they made the 'decision to discontinue Dr. Horak's employment after a thorough review process' On Monday, October, 24, his local community in Fergus Falls showed up in the hundreds at a rally in support of the doctor and to hear him speakThe mask mandate in Fergus Falls was in place for two weeks, ending on October 24  Read more »

Jen Psaki says Biden is 'open' to going to the Capitol today as negotiators on his infrastructure plan 'make progress' and says the president is FOR a last-ditch billionaire's tax minutes before it gets 'scrapped'

Psaki took repeated questions about the billionaire's taxIt is meant to get at annual stock gains by investors or company foundersShe took on critics who say the tax might not be constitutional'We're not going to support anything we don't think is legal'Biden may go to the CapitolBut he intends to fly to Rome Thursday for summit meetings and a meeting with the PopeNegotiators have yet to lock down support from Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema  Read more »

Hilaria Baldwin's podcast Mom Brain is 'no longer active' as she and husband Alec mourn the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after accidental gun tragedy

Hilaria Baldwin’s podcast Mom Brain is ‘no longer active.’ Mrs. Baldwin’s audio show with Daphne Oz hasn’t aired since December 2020 and doesn’t appear to be coming back any time soon, ... Read more »

MEGHAN MCCAIN: The Democrats have way more to lose in Virginia than the governor's mansion if they don't stop spitting in the faces of normal Americans and then telling us we're imagining it

America’s political media is laser-focused on the state of Virginia Governor’s race between former governor Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Younkin. Virginia, while a state that has trended blue in ... Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: Huma Abedin is snapped shopping in NYC with her sex pest former congressman ex-husband Anthony Weiner one day after claiming she was sexually assaulted by senator in the mid-2000s

Huma Abedin was spotted grocery shopping in New York City with her estranged husband, ex-congressman Anthony Weiner, on Wednesday Photos show the pair walking together as Abedin, who is on the phone, carries a reusable grocery toteAbedin was also spotted pushing a fully loaded shopping cart in a TargetThe outing comes one day after Abedin revealed her forthcoming memoir alleges that she was sexually assaulted by an unnamed U.S. senatorShe said the incident happened sometime after Donald Trump's 2005 wedding to Melania, which she attendedShe was working in Washington DC for Hillary Clinton, who was a senator for New York from 2001-9 Abedin did not specify which party the senator came from or provide any identifying detailsShe said the alleged assault came when the senator invited her up for coffee after a dinner between senators and aides Do you know the senator who assaulted Huma Abedin? Email us at: newsUS@dailymail.com  Read more »

Suspended Virginia Tech linebacker, 18, accused of beating to death Tinder date, 40, when he found out he was a man posing as a woman called 'Angie' is indicted for murder

Isimemen Etute, 18, was indicted on Tuesday in the murder of 40-year-old restaurant manager Jerry Paul SmithProsecutors allege Etute matched with Smith on Tinder in April,  when Smith was reportedly posing as a woman named 'Angie,' and they had oral sexHe then went back to Smith's apartment on May 31, allegedly to find out whether Smith was a male or a femaleAfter discovering that Smith was a man, prosecutors say Etute repeatedly punched and stomped on himSmith's cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the headA lawyer for Etute previously told DailyMail.com that Smith had multiple social media accounts pretending to be a woman named AngieBut Smith lived his day-to-day life as a male and his family referred to him by male pronounsThe lawyer has suggested that it was wrong for Smith to pretend to be a woman, claiming he 'lured' Etute  Read more »

Cigarette sales increased during 2020 for the first time in almost two decades with 203.7 billion sold to retailers - and $7.84B spent on advertising, FTC says

The number of cigarettes bought by wholesalers and retailers went from 202.9 billion in 2019 to 203.7 billion in 2020, a rise of 0.4 percent While a small increase, it's still the first time since 2004 that more cigarettes were purchased than the year beforeCigarette sales have declined by more than two-thirds since the peak year of 1981, when 636.5 billion cigarettes were purchased The maker of Marlboros, the Altria Group, have cited the pandemic as being behind the increase in 2020Advertising on smokes also increased in 2020. Companies spent $7.84 billion in 2020, up from $7.62 billion in 2019Liquor and smokeless tobacco sales also increased  Read more »

Up-and-coming And Just Like That star Cathy Ang, 26, admits she had NEVER seen Sex and the City before landing the role of Charlotte's daughter Lily - as she poses for first-ever photo shoot

Cathy, 26, said she'd never seen the show but watch the movies just before auditioning for the role After being cast as Lily, Cathy — who was three when the show premiered — binged the whole series in a weekShe is glad she waited because she was able to appreciate it better as an adultThe actress discussed 'intense' secrecy about And Just Like That but admitted her character still likes beautiful thingsAlso said Kristin Davis was great at explaining things to her and 'was always dishing' and 'taking care of' her and the actress who plays her sisterSarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon were also a great help as she learned the ropes Read more »

Married North Carolina couple is charged in 1991 death of baby found in dumpster that was so decomposed investigators were unable to identify its gender

A married North Carolina couple have been charged in the 1991 death of a baby that was discovered in a dumpster nearly 30 years ago The infant's remains were so badly decomposed that investigators were initially unable to identify it's genderTaylorsville residents Scott Gordon Poole, 54, and his wife, Robin Lynn Byrum, 51, were arrested on Thursday and charged with concealing the birth of a child In April 1991, police officers discovered the remains of an infant after responding to a call for human remains found in a trash can rackThe child had been dead for some time, while a medical examiner was able to determine that it had died due to asphyxiation and sustaining blunt force trauma In 2019, investigators sent the child's rib bone to a private lab in Texas for a forensic analysis, where human DNA was recovered, leading them to the couple Additional charges may be filed pending further investigation, police said Read more »
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