ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines’ CEO says any employee who is not vaccinated will be surcharged $200 a month beginning in November.
Ed Bastian said that 75 percent of Delta workers are vaccinated, but he cited the rise of the delta variant as the reason for getting “close to 100% as possible.”
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Here’s Bastian’s note on the surcharge:
“Beginning Nov. 1, unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta’s account-based healthcare plan will be subject to a $200 monthly surcharge. The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $40,000 per person. This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company. In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated.”
Among the surcharge announcement, starting Sept. 12, any U.S. Delta Air Lines employee who is not fully vaccinated will be required to take a COVID test each week while community case rates are high.
Bastian says the airline industry has done a good job of keeping transmission of the coronavirus to a minimal on airlines because of strict cleaning and other safety procedures already in place.
“Masking works. We’re going to make certain any unvaccinated employee is wearing a mask at all times, particularly in an indoor setting,” Bastian said.
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Also, effectively immediately, all unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks in all indoor Delta settings. The requirement will remain in place until community case rates stabilize.
Bastian said that COVID-19 pay protection will only be provided to fully vaccinated employees who are experiencing a breakthrough infection. This goes into effect on Sept. 30.
At a job fair at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport one candidate was not a fan of the policy.
“I think that’s ridiculous because the vaxxed people can also contract this virus, so it doesn’t make sense to charge the unvaccinated an extra $200,” he said.
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