Spirit AeroSystems requiring COVID-19 vaccine for employees

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 3:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Spirit AeroSystems will require its employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The aviation manufacturer said Wednesday the deadline for all of its U.S.-based employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is Dec. 8. Spirit has about 7,000 employees in Wichita.

The company said the mandate is part of an executive order President Joe Biden signed last month, which requires all employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated.

“Spirit AeroSystems is a federal contractor that supports contracts with the Department of Defense and other agencies,” said Spirit in a statement. “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.”

Local machinists union president Cornell Beard said he’s already heard from employees who are upset with the vaccination requirement.

“We our putting out paychecks against vaccinations, so it’s just not a good deal,” Beard said.

He said the federal requirement could impact the aviation industry as a whole.

“This is a really tough time, you know. If we don’t deliver the product, then they lose business and we hate to see that. But at the same time, this is a big deal the president put out,” Beard said.

We know some employees plan to protest the vaccination requirement Thursday outside Spirit AeroSystems. Eyewitness News will be there to hear what the workers have to say.

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