Southwest Airlines CEO ‘not in favor’ of vaccine mandates

Southwest Airways CEO Gary Kelly stated Tuesday that he opposes requiring his staff to get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, however acknowledged that his firm should mandate the shot to adjust to the Biden administration’s federal contractor guidelines.

The Dallas-based airline introduced final week that every one staff should be vaccinated by Dec. 8 because of the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for federal contractors. Southwest has massive contracts with the U.S. authorities to move authorities officers and provides. 

“I’ve by no means been in favor of firms imposing that sort of a mandate. I’m not in favor of that, by no means have been,” Kelly told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Tuesday earlier than noting that the Biden administration rule pressured his hand. 

Southwest, which hasn’t stated what number of of its staff are vaccinated, is providing staff two days of pay to get vaccinated. Kelly stated Tuesday that his aim is to retain as many staff as doable. 

“If they’ll’t [get vaccinated], we’re urging them to hunt an lodging both for medical or spiritual causes,” Kelly stated. “The target right here, clearly, is to enhance well being and security, not for individuals to lose their jobs.”

Practically each main airline has applied a vaccine mandate to adjust to Biden’s order. Delta Air Strains, the one main provider with no vaccine requirement, imposes a $200 month-to-month surcharge on unvaccinated staff.

Southwest Airways and American Airways said Tuesday that they are going to defy Texas Gov. Greg AbbottblankGreg AbbottAbbott bans vaccine mandates from any ‘entity in Texas’ West says COVID-19 hospitalization made him ‘more dedicated’ to fight against vaccine mandates Texas gubernatorial candidate Allen West says he has coronavirus-related pneumonia MORE’s (R) government order banning all vaccine mandates within the state, which instantly clashes with the Biden administration rule.

“In accordance with the President’s government order, federal motion supersedes any state mandate or regulation, and we’d be anticipated to adjust to the President’s order to stay compliant as a federal contractor,” a Southwest spokesperson stated in a press release Tuesday. | Southwest Airways CEO ‘not in favor’ of vaccine mandates

Aila Slisco

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