The airline industry is not playing games with its employees who refuse to get the COVID vaccine. After United recently announced it will terminate any of its employees who are not fully vaccinated by September 27, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian announced on Wednesday that, beginning in November, it will charge employees who are on the company’s health plan $200 per month for failing to get vaccinated.
Bastian says the average, virus-related, hospital stay is costing the airline $40,000. Delta also announced that it plans to stop extending pay protections to its unvaccinated workers who get COVID on September 30. Unvaccinated Delta workers must begin weekly testing on September 12, although the airline will cover the cost. Masks must also be worn by all employees when indoors.
In a memo to Delta employees, Bastian stated, “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company. I know some of you may be taking a wait-and-see approach or waiting for full (Food and Drug Administration) approval. With this week’s announcement that the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, the time for you to get vaccinated is now.”
75-percent of Delta’s employees are fully vaccinated, up 3-percent since July.
What’s your reaction to Delta’s announcement today? What about United’s earlier announcement?
Do you feel safe traveling right now? These are all questions that need to be considered by the public.