United’s unvaccinated staff drops from 593 to 320 after company said they would be fired

A United Airlines airplane takes off at San Francisco International Airport.

Gary Hershorn | Corbis News | Getty Images

United Airlines said that the number of employees facing termination because they aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 has dropped by almost half since the deadline to get the first shot passed late Monday.

The Chicago-based airline started the process of firing 593 workers as of Tuesday, though final separation would take weeks. By Thursday, just 320 employees weren’t vaccinated.

United has the strictest vaccine mandate policy of any U.S. airline. In August, the company told its 67,000 U.S. employees that they must be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the fall to continue working there. Some 2,000 United employees have sought exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

“Our vaccine policy continues to prove requirements work — in less than 48 hours, the number of unvaccinated employees who began the process of being separated from the company has been cut almost in half, dropping from 593 to 320,” United said in a statement.

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