Newport News Shipbuilding employees facing termination for not getting the COVID vaccine no longer have to worry about their job security.
The development follows a letter from CEO Mike Petters saying that most employees will not have to get an FDA-approved COVID vaccine.
Dockworkers expressed mixed emotions upon hearing the news.
Norfolk’s WTKR reports:
Numerous employees tell News 3 they feel tricked, saying they only got the vaccine because of the mandate, which is now suspended.
“They made me get it and then lifted it,” said Deshawn Royal, a Newport News Shipyard employee. “I didn’t want to get it, but they said I had to get it or we were going to get fired. And then they lifted it. Y’all did us wrong.”
Another HII employee, Rodney Apop, says that while he was happy to get vaccinated against COVID-19, many of his fellow coworkers felt similarly to Royal.
“They went ahead and jumped, and they didn’t have the choice to do it,” Apop explained. “And now when they take [the mandate] away, they wish they had known so they didn’t have to.”
Employees speculate the company caved after a number of highly-skilled employees threatened to quit.