Three of the biggest employers in Texas have spiked Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s deadly ban on employer-issued vaccine mandates in the state, according to Bloomberg.
Abbott tried to block the mandates after President Joe Biden took action requiring large employers and federal contractors to vaccinate their workforce. IBM, American, and Southwest are all federal contractors who stand to lose business if they ignore Biden’s mandate and, well, none of them want to lose that business to an order from a pipsqueak governor who doesn’t actually understand the limits of his power.
“IBM is a federal contractor and must comply with federal requirements, which directs employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, or obtain a medical or religious accommodation,” a spokesperson for the New York-based company told Bloomberg.
American and Southwest sounded similar notes.
“We believe the federal vaccine mandate supersedes any conflicting state laws, and this does not change anything for American,” American Airlines said of Abbott’s ban.
Southwest offered: “We would be expected to comply with the president’s order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.”
Gee, that wasn’t so hard. In fact, they all sort of shrugged off Abbott’s order without a second thought. If Abbott had any sense, he would be humiliated, but he’s probably not. American set a deadline Nov. 24 for full vaccination, and Southwest set its target date Dec. 8.
Another airline with a major hub in Houston has already proven how effective employer vaccine mandates can be in saving lives. In a little less than two months, United Airlines has now succeeded in vaccinating 99.7% of its workforce.
United CEO Scott Kirby said the company made the decision after they lost a 57-year-old pilot to COVID-19. It was the second time Kirby had been notified of an employee’s death due to COVID, and he finally called together the leadership team and said, “Enough is enough. We can do something about this.”
According to Kirby, United was both the first airline to require its workers to be vaccinated and the first airline to require masking on flights.
“I wish we had gotten to 100%,” he said of vaccinating United’s workforce, “but out of our 67,000 employees, there are 232 who haven’t been vaccinated, and they are going through the termination process now.”
As for Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates, Kirby said it’s “in the rearview mirror” for United “because we already got everyone vaccinated.”
There’s nothing better as a politician than trying to punch up only to realize you’re irrelevant.
Here’s the CBS interview with United CEO Scott Kirby: