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United Airlines to let unvaccinated workers return – WSJ

Randy Mancini 2 Mar 9
Airline passenger checks in at the United airlines desk at the Tampa International Airport
An airline passenger checks in at the United airlines desk at the Tampa International Airport as airports around the country are awaiting for Verizon and AT&T to rollout their 5G technology, in Tampa, Florida, U.S., January 19, 2022. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

March 10, 2022

(Reuters) – United Airlines Holdings Inc will allow workers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 for religious or medical reasons to return at the end of this month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The move permits staffers with exemptions from the carrier’s vaccination requirement for its U.S. employees to return from unpaid leave or from the non-customer-facing roles they were allowed to apply for as an alternative to their regular jobs, the report said.

United Airlines declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Reuters.

Last month, a U.S. appeals court ordered a new review of a decision not to block United Airlines from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers.

Chicago-based United was the first major air carrier to issue a vaccine requirement, and its Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby had defended the employee mandate, saying “we did this for safety. We believe it saved lives.”

Kirby said about 200 of the company’s 67,000 employees refused to get vaccinated and were fired.

The 200 employees won’t be brought back and the newly hired workers will still have to be vaccinated, the WSJ report said.

(Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)