Southwest Airlines to comply with Biden vaccine mandate by Dec. 8

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WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Businesshala) – Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) said on Monday it would adhere to the December 8 deadline set by President Joe Biden to vaccinate its employees against COVID-19 .

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The deadline, set last month under an executive order signed by Biden, covers all federal contractors. Until employees receive and exempt, they must adhere to “continuing employment with the airline,” Southwest said.

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“Southwest Airlines must join forces with 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 Businesshala, Southwest said employees must submit vaccination status and documents by November 24. “If you haven’t been fully vaccinated yet, plan to meet the deadline,” the memo said.

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American Airlines (AAL.O) said Friday that it would also comply but did not specify when it would need to vaccinate employees. Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) CEO Ed Bastian said on Sunday that the company has not decided whether to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

The White House pressured major US airlines to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees by the deadline for federal contractors to do so. This urged him to follow United Airlines’ lead in the necessary shots.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Ziants spoke with the chief executives of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines on Thursday to ensure they are able to develop and implement vaccine requirements before that deadline. are working swiftly for this, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Large US airlines have many federal contracts. Some airline executives have asked the White House to withdraw the requirements until after the busy holiday season.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Grant McCool

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