TULSA, Okla. — UPDATE, 10/14/21, 3:20 a.m.: Spirit Aerosystems has released a statement:
Spirit AeroSystems informed our U.S.-based employees that COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory, effective Dec. 8, 2021, as outlined in an Executive Order issued by President Joe Biden on Sept. 9, 2021. The President’s order mandates vaccines for all employees of federal contractors. The requirement applies to existing as well as new defense contracts, and goes beyond employees who directly support defense contracts.
Spirit AeroSystems is a federal contractor that supports contracts with the Department of Defense and other agencies. As a Federal contractor, testing is not an option for Spirit employees. Spirit is working with local healthcare providers to administer vaccines free of charge.
The health and safety of employees has been a paramount concern as we have managed the challenges Spirit has faced during the pandemic and the requirements of the Executive Order
Also, in the Tulsa area, Spirit is working with Clinic with SolidaritUS Health and Passport Health to provide COVID-19 vaccines.
Another aerospace company in Tulsa is telling its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be fired in the near future.
Spirit Aerosystems corporate media relations department confirmed to FOX23 that messages FOX23 was receiving from some employees inside the Spirit facility at Tulsa International Airport were true.
The company said its Federal Defense Department contracts were at risk of being cancelled if it did not comply with a Federal vaccination mandate that the Biden Administration put in place for all Federal employees and contractors.
FOX23 News is told that Spirit will hold vaccination clinics for its employees at its Tulsa site so employees who wish to comply will be able to do so without having to take off from work.
Some employees reached out to FOX23 saying they were being forced to choose between being vaccinated or losing their jobs after FOX23′s Rick Maranon reported that American Airlines was requiring its Tulsa employees to be vaccinated or be fired by the end of November. American’s maintenance base is next door to Spirit’s Tulsa facility.
Combined the two companies employ thousands of people, and the vaccination requirement means a large portion of Tulsa’s aerospace workforce has been given the choice to be vaccinated or be fired in the weeks ahead. Both companies told FOX23 they had no choice but to comply with the Federal order because the financial harm that could come with the loss of Federal contracts could be devastating to their businesses.
FOX23 reached out to United Aerospace Workers Local 952 about if anything in their collective bargaining agreement with Spirit protects employees who do not wish to be vaccinated but do not qualify for an exemption and was told the current agreement is being analyzed for any conditions that could save an employee’s job.
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX23 News as more details emerge.
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