Boeing drops COVID-19 vaccine mandate

National

The Boeing regional headquarters is seen amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 29, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. – Boeing announced sweeping cost-cutting measures Wednesday after reporting a first-quarter loss of $641 million following the hit to the airline business from the coronavirus pandemic. The aerospace giant plans to reduce its workforce by 10 percent through a combination of voluntary and involuntary layoffs and will slash production of its main commercial planes, including the 787 and 777, Chief Executive David Calhoun said in a message to employees that accompanied an earnings release. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Boeing announced Friday that it will be dropping the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees that went into effect in October.

The announcement comes amid spiking COVID-19 cases that have forced the NFL to reschedule games, upended Broadway shows and thrown Americans’ holiday travel plans into disarray.

Boeing initially instituted the policy, which applied to the roughly 125,000 U.S.-based employees, to comply with President Joe Biden’s executive order that all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated.

The policy ran into stiff opposition from an outspoken, if minority, group of Boeing workers who vowed to lose their jobs rather than get the shot, according to The Seattle Times.

Boeing told Nexstar in a statement that “after careful review, Boeing has suspended its vaccination requirement in line with a federal court’s decision prohibiting enforcement of the federal contractor executive order and a number of state laws.”

The company said it would continue to “monitor and follow federal, state and local requirements.”

“We are committed to maintaining a safe working environment for our employees, and advancing the health and safety of our global workforce. As such, we continue to encourage our employees to get vaccinated and get a booster if they have not done so.”

Boeing said in a statement to The Times that “over 92% of the company’s U.S.-based workforce” has either registered as being fully vaccinated or having a religious or medical waiver.

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