United Airlines, which flies to Alaska, just announced plans to put unvaccinated workers on temporary unpaid leave starting Oct. 2, after it imposed a Covid shot requirement in August.

The mandate, disclosed Saturday, does not apply to workers who refuse the vaccine for religious or medical reasons.

United CEO Scott Kirby said he is confident the airline will have all employees vaccinated by the end of September, according to media reports.

More than 50% of the company’s unvaccinated workers have gotten the vaccine, since United announced a shot mandate for employees in August, the company said.

The company said it already had strong compliance among customer-facing employees, including ticketing agents. Now more workers who load luggage onto planes and do other background work are getting the shot, Kirby said.

The company is negotiating with its bargaining units to implement testing requirements. 

United has no plans to require customers to show proof of vaccination to travel

Contact political reporter Linda F. Hersey at 459-7575 or lhersey@newsminer.com. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.

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