United says the number of employees facing firings for declining the vaccine has declined

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A United Airlines jet at the gate at New York's JFK Airport. The carrier said it will not need to fire as many employees for refusing the Covid vaccine as it initially reported.
A United Airlines jet at the gate at New York's JFK Airport. The carrier said it will not need to fire as many employees for refusing the Covid vaccine as it initially reported. Photo Credit: Courtesy of United Airlines

The number of United Airlines employees who are slated to be fired for not getting the Covid-19 vaccine has decreased by nearly half in the past two days.

On Tuesday, the carrier announced that it would begin the termination process for the 593 staff members who had neither gotten at least one vaccine shot nor applied for an exemption to the company's vaccine mandate on religious or health grounds.

The carrier announced on Thursday that the number had dropped to 320.

The reduction, the carrier said, has mainly been driven by late vaccination card uploads by its employees. United expects the number of employees on the chopping block to decline even further as its human resources team enters into individual meetings with employees and finds that some actually have been vaccinated.

On Tuesday, United said that 3% of staff members have applied for the exemption to its vaccination mandate. Out of the remaining 97% of employees, 99.5% have chosen to get vaccinated.

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