WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Union aviation workers from some of Sedgwick County’s largest employers are voicing their concerns.
More than a dozen union members met with U.S. Senator Roger Marshall Friday morning for a town hall.
Marshall said he is in favor of vaccines but believes that people should choose whether or not they get it.
“Is this just a few people we are concerned about, or is there a large number of your unions not planning to get the vaccine?” Senator Marshall asked the crowd.
“If the people that represent to me that they would rather lose their job than take the shot, at this point, I think you’re going to see an exit of 30% of our current workforce,” a union representative told Marshall.
Emotions were running high as some shared why they did not want the vaccine.
“For the past several weeks, we’re just seeing this crescendo of angry people getting madder. The anger is turning into panic because now people are getting ready to lose their jobs,” Marshall said.
Spirit employee Doug Cline spoke during the meeting. He says he will retire before getting the shot.
Cline believes that if enough people walk production will suffer.
“Well, unfortunately, they believe that if they hired you in as a mechanic right, you’ll be able to get the job done, and that’s what I think they’re counting on. They’ll just get somebody else to come in, but that’s not how it works. You can’t just get anybody off the street and take them in there and have him build an airplane.”
Marshall believes the mandate will worsen issues already facing the industry.
“It’s going to exacerbate the labor shortage we already have, and it’s just not in Wichita, Kansas. This is gonna be throughout the nation.”