WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said it will battle the COVID-19 vaccine mandate from Wichita’s largest employers. The order covers more than 18,000 works at Textron Aviation and Spirit Aerosystems.

IAMAW said they are considering legal action against both Textron Aviation and Spirt Aerosystems if the companies carry through with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

In a letter sent to both companies, the union laid out their opposition clear. It states, “The aviation manufactures that are actively enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates will be opposed.” The union said all necessary action will be taken to prevent such vaccine mandates.

The union letter states it supports all members who choose to be vaccinated as well as those who choose not to be. KSN asked the union president if they will file a lawsuit.

“I think that we have to do that I think that we are forced to do that right now. It’s our duty to make sure that we protect their interests and I think that that’s that unfortunately, that is the alternative that we have,” said Cornell Beard, IAMAW District 70 president.

The president said this is not out getting the vaccine shot, but that many members feel like they are not being given a choice.