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Spirit employees continue to protest against vaccine mandate

Spirit protest continues against the mandatory vaccine mandate.
Spirit protest continues against the mandatory vaccine mandate.(KWCH)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 9:22 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Hundreds of protestors rallied outside Spirit Aerosystems after announcing that all employees must get the vaccine, with no exceptions.

The union says several employees have either left the company or announced they would leave the company over the vaccine mandate.

Spirit employee, Jill Wigley, states “we are being forced to take a vaccine that could potentially harm us. I have a medical exemption already, and the company is saying even with the medical exemption. I would have to wear a mask and get a weekly test, and my own expense-which I’ve heard can cost up to $400 a test; who can afford that for a test?”

According to Spirit AeroSystems, the vaccine is mandatory due to President Biden’s executive order. It requires the shot for all employees of federal contractors, and testing is not an option for employees. The machinists union is working to fight for employees’ rights during this process. The union is highly frustrated with how the company is handling the vaccine mandate. The union warns that employees with decades of experience are prepared to leave.

David Burke, another spirit employee, says, “I deserve my job; I’ve been out here 35 years. I was essential in 2020 with building the ventilators. I was essential this last year. But come December 8th. I’m not essential that’s wrong.”

Protestors have been collecting signatures to ask the company for conscientious, medical, and religious exemptions. The company could face significant fines if it does not comply with the federal vaccine mandate.

We will update you on the situation once we learn more.

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