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Some unvaccinated United Launch Alliance workers protest vaccine policy

Workers protesting vaccine mandates in Decatur continued early into Tuesday morning.
Workers protesting vaccine mandates in Decatur continued early into Tuesday morning.
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 1:24 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - About a dozen United Launch Alliance workers protested the company’s vaccine policy. They say they were told on Monday that if they didn’t get their first shot by Friday, that would be their last day.

According to voicemails and letter sent to employees, their keys would stop working and they couldn’t get let in after October 29. The automated voicemail said if the worker doesn’t get their first shot by Friday, “you will be placed on administrative leave processing your resignation. Your badge and key will be deactivated on October 29.”

The voicemail says the company put a vaccine policy in place on October 1. It said that if they didn’t get their first shot by October 29 they would be forced to resign. However, they say they were told if they had an exemption, they would be allowed to stay. Many say they applied and got denied. They say they didn’t hear anything about it until this Monday.

Many say they feel wronged by this situation. Welder at ULA, Tyler Morrison said “You try to blackmail me with my job and how I provide for my well being and my family is very unamerican. So, we’re out here being patriotic. As you can tell, by all the honks today we’ve been getting plenty of support.”

Many say they love their job. Some protesters like Sherrie Maine haove been working for the company for over a decade. She says not taking the vaccine was too important to her. She said she would rather leave a job she’s known and loved than roll up her sleeves.

“I’ve been working here for over 15 years and I have done nothing wrong,” Maine said. “They’re locking me out. I want to come in and do my job, they will not allow it.”

ULA sent us a statement reading in part, “ULA decided to require vaccinations to ensure the health and safety of our employees and to align with our U.S. government customer and industry direction.”

According to one worker, their manager said about 270 employees are currently not vaccinated. But, they have until Friday to get their first shot and keep their jobs.

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