Spirit AeroSystems suspends COVID vaccine deadline

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Spirit AeroSystems says it is suspending the deadline for workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The company had been trying to get its workers vaccinated by a Jan. 4 deadline because of a mandate affecting federal contractors and subcontractors.

But on Tuesday, a federal judge blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing the mandate. U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker, in Augusta, Georgia, issued a stay to bar enforcement of the order nationwide.

Spirit AeroSystems says it suspended its deadline because of that preliminary injunction. However, it will continue to watch what happens with lawsuits that challenge the vaccine mandate.

“As further decisions are made by courts, Spirit will comply with applicable vaccine requirement(s) for employees,” said Forrest Gossett, senior manager of corporate communications for Spirit. “In the meantime, we encourage our employees get the vaccine, or booster shots as they become eligible.”

On Tuesday, Cornell Beard, a representative for the Machinists Union, told KSN he is pleased a judge blocked the mandate.

Beard, who is vaccinated, said the mandate forced some of his workers to retire early because they were against getting the shot. He added that he knows the battle isn’t over but hopes to keep all those who want to work working. 

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