Yesterday, when it announced plans to raise wages for new hires as it attempts to hire tens of thousands of new workers, Amazon added that it would offer all new hires an additional $100 bonus if they are already fully vaccinated before signing on.
On Friday, Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Air Lines made a splash on an otherwise slow news day by proclaiming during an interview with CNN that the company will require all new hires to be fully vaccinated - while Delta's current workforce (winnowed after waves of pandemic-inspired furloughs and layoffs) will be exempt from the mandate. However, those who refuse to get their shots will be barred from working on international flights (since destination countries, like, for example, the EU, may require foreigners to prove vaccination status before entry).
"Any person joining Delta in the future, a future employee, we're going to mandate they be vaccinated before they can sign up with the company," CEO Ed Bastian told CNN on Thursday.
It's just the latest example of how the Biden Administration is relying on he nation's employers to pressure workers to get their shots or face discrimination or other repercussions (including possible termination, as has already been seen) as demand for jabs fades across the US, creating a serious obstacle for the US vaccine rollout in the push to reach 70% vaccination rate for American adults, which is where scientists theorize 'herd immunity' will kick in.
Delta said in a statement that "we know that vaccines are the best toolw e have to protect one another and bring an end to the pandemic." It said requiring new hires to be vaccinated is important as "our business recovers and demand for air travel continues to rise."
To help accomplish this, Delta has converted its Georgia museum into a mass vaccination center. The company's work with the state of Georgia has allowed it to vaccinate 5K people per day in the museum.
As for those who are already employed, "I don't think that's fair to force them to get vaccinated if there's some philosophical issue they have," Bastian said
Bastian added that he would personally try to make sure all Delta employees understand the importance of getting vaccinated, both personally and for their families.
Readers can watch the full interview here.
Corporate incentives like this aren't the only new incentive being offered. As President Joe Biden tweeted just yesterday, new CDC guidelines will require people to continue wearing masks unless they're fully vaccinated. In other words:
After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 13, 2021
For the millions of Americans waiting on the sidelines of the labor market, the reality is closer to this: get vaccinated, or don't work until you do.