Ingalls suspends deadline for employee vaccination
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Employees at Ingalls Shipbuilding no longer face a vaccine mandate as originally directed by the federal government.
In a letter signed by President and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries Mike Petters dated Nov. 16, employees were told that the deadline for vaccination has been suspended except for specific contracts that require it.
The deadline was recently pushed back to Jan. 4 from the original Dec. 8 deadline after new guidance from OSHA for companies with more than 100 employees.
Several employees reached out to WLOX after the initial announcement who feared losing their jobs by refusing to get the vaccine at this time. Some have said they have already or plan on getting the vaccine but still feel like it’s against their rights to be forced to do it by their employer.
You can read the full text of the letter below:
“As you are aware, implementation of the federal government’s vaccine mandate has been a complex undertaking. Thank you for your patience in recent weeks as the situation has evolved. During this period, we have sought clarification from our customers about how our many contracts would need to be modified and re-priced to reflect this new requirement.
“We also proceeded in good faith during this time to require vaccination of our workforce, to protect their health and safety and in so doing also protect our ability to serve our national security customers without disruptions. we have not wanted to lose a single employee to the virus, or to the effect of the mandate.
“Importantly, with respect to Ingalls Shipbuilding and Newport News Shipbuilding, our customer has confirmed that our contracts do not include a requirement to implement the mandate. Technical Solutions employees are in a different situation and face varied requirements depending on the particular contract.
“In light of this development, we are herby suspending the deadline for vaccination, except where specific Technical Solutions contracts require it. However, please note three important points:
- We are monitoring the fluid situation closely with our shipyard customers, and if the mandate becomes a contractual requirement, we will proceed accordingly.
- We continue to strongly urge vaccination of all employees for the reasons described above.
- HII may choose to implement other measures aimed at improving our workforce vaccination rate.
Thank you as always for your hard work and dedication to our customers and their critical missions.”
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