Delta CEO dodges federal vaccine mandate, will not layoff employees

by Meredith Minto

Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced this week that he will not enforce the vaccine mandate because keeping it voluntary has been a great success when it comes to employee compliance.

Bastian said during a Friday Fox Business interview that 90 percent of the airline’s employees voluntarily became vaccinated. Instead of threatening employees’ jobs, Delta will make accommodations for those who are choosing not to get vaccinated.

“The reason the mandate was put in by president, I believe, was because they wanted to make sure companies had a plan to get their employees vaccinated,” he said on the show. “A month before the president came out with the mandate, we had already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated. And the good news is the plan is working.”

The CEO added, “By the time we’re done, we’ll be pretty close to fully vaccinated as a company without going through all the divisiveness of a mandate,” he said. “We’re proving that you can work collaboratively with your people, trusting your people to make the right decisions, respecting their decisions, and not forcing them over the loss of their jobs.”

Regardless of the pandemic, Bastian revealed that Delta is on track toward pre-pandemic financial reports after the airline had 116 “perfect” days without cancellations.

“I can’t give enough thanks to the Delta team, providing a great product for our customers and it’s one of the reasons we were profitable this quarter,” the Delta CEO said.

Delta is now the only major U.S. airline that is not requiring employees to get a Covid-19 vaccine. American, Southwest, and United Airlines will continue to mandate the vaccine.

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