Boeing drops COVID-19 requirement for US employees

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FILE – Traffic passes the Boeing airplane production plant on Oct. 1, 2020, in Everett, Wash. Boeing said Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, that it’s suspending a company COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all U.S.-based employees. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

SEATTLE (AP) — Aerospace giant Boeing said Friday it’s suspending a company vaccination requirement for all U.S.-based employees.

The Seattle Times reports the company adopted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in October to ensure compliance with the federal executive order that required all employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated.

The mandate faced opposition from a vocal minority of Boeing workers.

In an internal company announcement, Boeing told employees its decision to suspend the mandate “comes after a detailed review of a U.S. District Court ruling earlier this month that halts the enforcement of a federal executive order requiring vaccinations for federal contractors.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal, who is vaccinated, told the newspaper he still wants “to encourage every one of our workforce to get vaccinated.”

Pointing to how critical vaccination is for hope of a global air travel recovery, Deal added that “the world, and the airline industry, will recover under vaccination.”

Boeing’s statement cited “over 92% of the company’s U.S.-based workforce having registered as being fully vaccinated or having received a religious or medical accommodation.”

That means 8%, or about 10,000, U.S. employees could have been under threat to lose their jobs under the mandate.

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