Delta Air Lines is the only U.S. airline to hold off on enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees as the White House is pressing major U.S. airlines to mandate the vaccine for employees by Dec. 8.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the mandate has been an effective tactic for vaccination rates and compliance but says employee vaccination has been effective without forcing a mandate, FOX Business reports.
Bastian said on “The Claman Countdown” that the company has reached a more than 90% vaccination rate and expects it to rise another 5% within the next month without a mandate in place, the article states.
“The reason the mandate was put in by president, I believe, was because they wanted to make sure companies had a plan to get their employees vaccinated,” he said. “A month before the president came out with the mandate, we had already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated. And the good news is the plan is working.”
According to the White House website, more than half of United Airlines’ unvaccinated employees went out and got vaccinated with weeks left to go before the deadline.
“The President’s plan will reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers and other actions to substantially increase the number of Americans covered by vaccination requirements—these requirements will become dominant in the workplace,” the website reads.
But Bastian said Delta will be “pretty close to fully vaccinated as a company without going through all the divisiveness of a mandate.” He also acknowledged that there will be a need for religious and medical accommodations made for those who wish to remain unvaccinated while avoiding having to threaten employment status, FOX Business reports.
“By the time we’re done, we’ll be pretty close to fully vaccinated as a company without going through all the divisiveness of a mandate,” he said. “We’re proving that you can work collaboratively with your people, trusting your people to make the right decisions, respecting their decisions and not forcing them over the loss of their jobs.”
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