Newport News shipbuilding no longer requires vaccination, workers who left due to previous requirement may request return

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Newport News Shipbuilding no longer requires vaccination for employees, and former employees who chose to resign or retire due to the now-not-required vaccination mandate have the possibility of requesting a return, according to Huntington Ingalls officials say.

The shipyard previously said all of its roughly 25,000 workers should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a “condition for maintaining employment“Due to the vaccination mandate for federal workers and contractors, but Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin said in an update Thursday that Huntington Ingalls clarified that their contracts with the Navy “do not include a vaccine warrant at this time.”

“This recent information is different from what we understood to be the intention of the government and the Navy,” Boykin said in a Facebook post.

President and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Mike Petters had said on Tuesday that their contracts “did not include a requirement to implement the mandate,” but they were still monitoring the “fluid situation,” and if the mandate were to be contractually required, the company would move forward accordingly.

The original mandate required that shipyard workers be vaccinated by December 8, and that was pushed back to January 4. before being finally suspended.

As for those who retired or resigned, or were in the process of making those decisions, due to the previous tenure, Boykin says they are contacting their supervisor or human resources.

Boykin says other current COVID measures such as mask requirements will remain in place. You can read his full post below.

This too Comes as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suspended implementation and enforcement of President Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate for private employers with 100 or more employees.


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