All AMFA Local LECs
National Executive Council
Employer Mandated Vaccinations re Covid
August 8, 2021
In the wake of recent news, particularly with Friday’s report that UAL has become the first major airline to seek a company-wide mandated vaccination program, I wanted to reach out to you now after consulting with Legal in order to set out the following.
To date, no airline employing AMFA-represented members has sought to mandate vaccination against the COVID-19 virus as a condition of employment and at this time we are not on notice that any will. There has also been no invitation from any carrier to open bargaining with AMFA over a vaccine program, nor is there any ongoing bargaining that would provide that opportunity, nor is any scheduled to commence in the immediate future. In both rank and file and union leadership there are strong opinions on the vaccine and especially on mandatory vaccination and reasonable minds can differ.
Following consultation with Legal and given the current legal landscape on this issue, AMFA National does not plan to initiate any lawsuit to stop any employer mandated vaccination. That said, National will not interfere with any Local that decides to take legal action, but it will not participate financially or support such a legal challenge.
Following discussion of the policy aspects with the NEC and consultation with Legal, AMFA National takes the following position, which any Local is free to adopt as its own – or not to:
I. AMFA National supports all reasonable efforts based on medicine and science to combat the pandemic, including voluntary vaccination.
II. AMFA National recognizes the decision to get vaccinated is an individual choice, not one that belongs to anyone else, especially any employer.
III. Without waiver of any legal rights of AMFA, its Locals, its members or of its represented employees, AMFA National takes no position on any employer-driven responses to COVID-19, including vaccination programs; therefore it does not now endorse or oppose any such response.
IV. AMFA National supports the defense under existing contract rights of any represented employee’s individual, reasonable choice in response to any employer-mandated vaccine program to protect those who seek an exemption or delay from vaccination based on a reasonable accommodation of their medical, physical, or any other recognized legal grounds such as religion – from adverse action by management.