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Boeing tells workers they need to get COVID-19 vaccine

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SEATTLE (AP) – The Boeing Co. has told employees they need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or possibly be made redundant.

The Seattle Times reports that the deadline for workers at the aerospace giant is December 8.

“Compliance with these requirements is a condition of employment,” said an internal Boeing presentation on Tuesday viewed by the newspaper. “Employees who are unable to meet these requirements… may be released from the company. “

Employees can apply for exemptions “because of a disability or sincere religious belief”. Any employee benefiting from such an exemption will be required to “undergo frequent testing for COVID-19” and be prepared to “present a negative test result upon request.”

The policy will apply to approximately 125,000 US-based employees company-wide, including approximately 57,000 in Washington state.

Jon Holden, president of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751, in his message to members in the October issue of the union newspaper, wrote that “the reality is that our members are polarized on this issue.”

“It is our responsibility to stand up and defend all of our members,” Holden added. And although he noted that he and his family are vaccinated, the union must also stand up for “those who cannot or will not accept the vaccine.”

The white-collar union, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), said in a statement Tuesday that it is engaging with Boeing “to ensure that the implementation gives due consideration to members’ concerns. “.

Boeing may face more resistance to the new policy in Republican-controlled states.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday prohibiting private companies or any other entity from requiring vaccines.

Boeing has more than 5,000 employees in Texas. It has approximately 32,000 more at facilities in Alabama, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

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