In a statement United Airlines said, it is ready to terminate around 600 U.S.-based employees who have failed to comply with its vaccination policy.
In August, United Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all domestic employees.
The airlines said, it would start the process of firing 593 employees who have not get vaccinated.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority,” said Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart in a memo to employees.
The workers can save their jobs if they get vaccinated before their formal termination meetings, said the company.
The company has received requests for vaccine exemptions from employees citing medical and religious reasons, however, such requests account for less than 3% of the airline’s 67,000 U.S. employee strength, said United officials.
Those employees who have cited COVID-19 exemption under the religious reasons will be placed on temporary, unpaid personal leave from October 2. This plan, has however been put on hold until October following a lawsuit challenging the policy.
More than 99% of U.S.-based employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19, said United.
According to a spokesperson of the company, the airline plans on hiring around 25,000 people over the next few years, with COVID-19 vaccination being an employment criterion for all new hires.
Students who are training as pilots will also need to be vaccinated, said the spokesperson.