Automaker Stellantis mandates Covid vaccine for 14,000 U.S. salaried workers – CNBC

The sign is seen outside of the FCA US LLC Headquarters and Technology Center as it is changed to Stellantis on January 19, 2021 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. – Newly-created European carmaker Stellantis motored its way January 18, 2021 onto the Paris and Milan stock exchanges. Stellantis — created by the merger of France’s PSA and US-Italian rival Fiat Chrysler — is the world’s fourth-biggest automaker by volume. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

JEFF KOWALSKY | AFP | Getty Images

DETROIT – Automaker Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, will require U.S. non-union, salaried employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 5 or possibly face termination.

The maker of Jeep and Ram vehicles on Friday told its more than 14,000 salaried employees that they must submit proof of their Covid-19 vaccination status by Dec. 4 and receive their final dose by Jan. 5.

Stellantis will consider religious and medical exemptions for employees who can’t get vaccinated. Those who don’t receive an exemption and aren’t fully vaccinated by the deadline will be put on a 30-day unpaid leave of absence and could face termination after that, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

The automaker, in an emailed statement, said the mandate is to “ensure the safest working environment possible as the company prepares for a phased reopening of its U.S. offices in 2022.”

Nearly 80% of Stellantis’ U.S. salaried workforce already has self-reported that they are fully vaccinated, according to the company.

Stellantis’ mandate was issued even though the Biden administration Thursday suspended enforcement of its vaccination and testing requirements for private businesses after a federal appeals court halted the rules pending review.

“This action also will ensure alignment with the federal ETS if it is implemented,” the company said in the statement.

Automakers have been reluctant to mandate Covid vaccinations. Ford Motor earlier this month became the first major U.S. automaker to impose a vaccine mandate.

General Motors previously required salaried employees to submit their vaccination status but they have not implemented a mandate. A GM spokeswoman on Friday said the company does not have an update about any mandate at this time.

Neither mandates for Ford nor Stellantis involve their largest worker base, which are U.S. plant workers represented by the United Auto Workers union.

The UAW has encouraged members to get vaccinated, but it has not been supportive of making vaccines mandatory for workers. Instead, relying on its more than 400,000 members to personally choose to get vaccinated.

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