Spirit AeroSystems and Textron could be “the most hit” among the United States aerospace and defense companies and “face the loss of several employees” if President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate goes into effect, according to a Wednesday Reuters report. “Spirit and Textron would bear the brunt as a big chunk of their manufacturing units are located in Wichita, Kansas, where just 53% of working age individuals are fully vaccinated, Jefferies financial group said,” according to the report. Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu said the Gulfstream, General Dynamic’s (GD.N) aerospace unit, is “also heavily exposed as only 48% of the working-age population around Savannah is vaccinated,” according to Reuters. This month, the Biden administration announced that it was extending the vaccine mandate deadline for federal contractors from December 8 to January 4.
The White House initially received a lot of backlash following its original announcement and attempted to paint December 8 as a soft deadline. White House Coronavirus Response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said in late October that federal contractors “will not be required to immediate [sic] lay-off workers” and will allow time for “education, counseling and other measures before potentially ending employment.” President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Several other U.S. companies have cited a “worker rebellion” and a potential workforce shortage, Reuters previously reported. “We’re going to lose a lot of employees over this,” local Kansas Machinists union district head Cornell Adams told the publication. According to the previous report, nearly half of 10,000 employees at aircraft companies Textron Inc. and Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, have chosen to forego the Chinese coronavirus jab and are at risk of losing their jobs for not complying with Biden’s federal vaccine mandate. Similarly, Raytheon Technologies’ (a U.S. defense firm) CEO Greg Hayes said the company could lose “several thousand” workers because of Biden’s mandate.
The problem extends to cargo carriers, who say Biden’s deadline is unattainable. “A group representing FedEx Corp, United Parcel Service Inc and other cargo carriers said it would be virtually impossible to have all their workforces vaccinated by the deadline,” according to the report.
The threat of thousands of American jobs lost comes after the Biden administration repeatedly promised to make vaccination voluntary.
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