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The Wall Street Journal: United Airlines moving to fire nearly 600 workers who refuse to get vaccinated

United Airlines Holdings Inc. is moving ahead with plans to terminate close to 600 employees who didn’t meet its COVID-19 vaccination deadline, company officials said Tuesday.


in August said it would require all of its 67,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated — the first major U.S. airline and one of the first large U.S. companies to do so.

Now the Sept. 27 deadline has passed, and the airline is starting the process of firing 593 employees who didn’t get the shots, company officials said. Those workers can still save their jobs if they opt to get vaccinated in the coming days before their official termination meetings, airline officials said Tuesday.

Previously: United Airlines says 97% of its employees are vaccinated

“We know for some, that decision was a reluctant one,” United Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart wrote in a letter to employees Tuesday. “But there’s no doubt in our minds that some of you will have avoided a future hospital stay—or even death—because you got vaccinated.”

The potential terminations apply to United employees who chose not to get vaccinated. Another roughly 2,000 United employees have sought exemptions for religious or medical reasons, company officials said.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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