Boeing Co. has told employees they must get vaccinated against COVID-19 or possibly be fired.
The Seattle Times reports that the deadline for workers at the aerospace giant is December 8.
“Meeting these requirements is a condition of employment,” says a Boeing internal presentation seen by the newspaper on Tuesday. “Employees who cannot meet these requirements … may be fired from the company.”
Employees can apply for exemptions “due to disability or sincere religious belief.” Any employee granted such an exemption will need to “undergo frequent testing for COVID-19” and be ready to “submit a negative test result upon request.”
The policy will apply to approximately 125,000 US-based employees across the company, with approximately 57,000 of them in Washington state.
Jon Holden, president of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751, in his message to members in the October issue of the union newspaper, wrote that “the reality is that our members are polarized on this issue.”
“It is our responsibility to defend and defend all of our members,” Holden added. And although he pointed out that he and his family are vaccinated, the union must also defend “those who cannot or do not want to accept the vaccine.”
The white-collar union, the Society of Professional Aerospace Engineering Employees (SPEEA), said in a statement Tuesday that it is engaging with Boeing “to ensure that the implementation gives due consideration to members’ concerns.”
Boeing may face more resistance to the new policy in Republican-controlled states.
On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting private companies or any other entity from requiring vaccines.
Boeing has more than 5,000 employees in Texas. It has about 32,000 more at facilities in Alabama, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina.