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United Airlines announces COVID vaccine will be mandatory for all new employees

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United becomes second major US airline to announce COVID vaccine will be mandatory for all new employees from next TUESDAY- after trying to incentivize current workers to get the shot by offering them extra vacation days

  • United will require all new employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 from June 15
  • They are the second airline to mandate the vaccine; Delta announced a similar policy last month
  • The announcement has divided Americans; many are in support of the policy, while others claim it was a violation of employees’ personal health choices 
  • Current employees of United are not required to be vaccinated, but the company has offered three extra vacation days to those who have the shot
  • United says around 80 percent of its 96,000 employees have already provided proof of vaccination 

United Airlines has announced that it will require all new employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they begin work with the company. 

The carrier made the announcement in a memo on Monday, becoming the second major US airline to mandate that new recruits get the shot. Delta announced a similar policy late last month in a move that divided millions of Americans.   

‘As we welcome new employees to the company, it’s important we instill in them United’s strong commitment to safety,’ United wrote in their memo. 

‘Effective for all job offers made after June 15, 2021, we will require any external candidates for U.S.-based jobs to attest that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by their start date.’ 

New recruits must upload their vaccination card into the United system within a week of joining the company.   

Current employees of United are not required to be vaccinated, but the company has strongly urged them to do so. 

Earlier this week, they incentivized having the vaccine by announcing they would give three extra extra vacation days to employees who have their first shot by June 9. 

The company says around 80 percent of its 96,000 employees have already provided proof of vaccination. 

United Airlines has announced that it will require all new employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they begin work with the company

United CEO Scott Kirby signaled his support for mandating the vaccine during an employee town hall event back in in January. 

‘If other businesses go along and are willing to start to mandate vaccines, you should probably expect United to be amongst the first wave of companies that do it,’ he stated. 

United has also urged its customers to also have the vaccine, and they are running a competition offering flights for a year’s worth of travel. 

Under the terms of their ‘Your Shot to Fly’ sweepstakes, members of the airline’s frequent flier program who upload their vaccination records to United’s website before mid-June will be entered to win a roundtrip flight for two, in any class of service, to anywhere in the world United flies.

The carrier is to give away 30 pairs of tickets throughout the month of June before announcing five randomly selected members for a grand prize of travel for a year for themselves and a companion. 

'It's important we instill in them United's strong commitment to safety': United is hoping to see airports packed with people as soon as possible, and mandatory vaccination of new employees may make customers feel more comfortable taking to the sky. Pictured: Fort Lauderdale Airport in March 2020

‘It’s important we instill in them United’s strong commitment to safety’: United is hoping to see airports packed with people as soon as possible, and mandatory vaccination of new employees may make customers feel more comfortable taking to the sky. Pictured: Fort Lauderdale Airport in March 2020

 Delta announced they were mandating COVID vaccines for new recruits on May 14. 

We know that vaccines are the best tool we have to protect one another and bring an end to the pandemic,’ the company declared at the time. 

It called the move to require vaccines for new hires important as ‘our business recovers and demand for air travel continues to rise.’

Responses to the news were deeply divided.

Some welcomed the suggestion for the safety of customers, some of whom may be unable to get the vaccine themselves for medical reasons. 

Others were outraged that the airline is forcing new recruits to have the vaccine if they want the job.

‘What happened to “my body, my choice”?’ one person raged on social media. 

United CEO Scott Kirby signaled his support for mandating the vaccine during an employee town hall event in January

United CEO Scott Kirby signaled his support for mandating the vaccine during an employee town hall event in January

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