Today, the Canadian airline company, WestJet, announced that they have officially placed nearly 300 employees and staff on suspension for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. This suspension announcement aligns with the company’s directive issued on September 8 that all of its workers should have had their two full doses of the vaccine by the end of October.
Madison Kruger, WestJet’s Media Relations Advisor, shared that while 96% of the airline’s 7,300 personnel are already fully vaccinated, less than 4% still haven’t received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Kruger, these employees will be placed on a one-month “unpaid leave of absence” for not complying with the company’s previously announced vaccine mandate. In addition, the Media Relations Advisor for WestJet related that if these employees continue to ignore the said vaccine mandate, they may shortly face termination of employment.
“All WestJet Group employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Kruger stressed. She also pointed out that having a full vaccination status is a requirement of employment for all future employees hired by the WestJet Group.
“Aviation has been one of the hardest-hit industries, and we believe requiring all WestJet Group employees to be vaccinated is the right thing to do and ensures the safest travel and work environment for everyone in WestJet’s world,” WestJet Executive Vice-President of People, Mark Porter, emphasized in a statement. He added that “protecting the health and safety of our guests and employees remains our number one priority and vaccinations are our best line of defense.”
“Requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is essential to the safe restart of travel across Canada,” Porter continued.
It is worth noting that WestJet’s September 8 vaccine mandate is in line with the federal government’s directive requiring all travellers looking to travel by ship, train, or plane must have been administered with two total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be allowed to do so.