Dear Mr. Bastian,
On behalf of millions of Americans across the country, the American Conservative Union (ACU) urges you to retract Delta Air Line’s newest politically charged “Vax Tax” that will force employees to pay a burdensome $200 monthly penalty as long as they remain unvaccinated and forgo COVID-19 pay protection should they test positive for the virus.
Given the CDC’s demographic data on the vaccinated population, this policy is undeniably discriminatory on its
face: Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities receive the vaccine at lower rates than non-Hispanic whites. The discrimination will be even worse in your home state of Georgia where only 42% of the population is fully vaccinated, far below the 52% national level. And just in case you failed to notice, Blacks alone represent 1/3 of Georgia’s population.
Notwithstanding Delta’s nominal policy to grow minority participation in your workforce, your proposed actions will adversely impact minority employees. You just announced that Delta would hire an additional 1500 flight attendants and 1200 pilots (over 90% of which are white), but the hiring would be conditional on full vaccination. Clearly, you do not intend to promote minority representation at Delta if you plan to limit employment opportunities to those who are fully vaccinated and more likely to be white. This new policy is in stark contrast with your own statements about providing more opportunities for Blacks to advance in your workforce.
“[W]hen you understand and look at the fact that within our company, the jobs that our Black colleagues, our Black employees do, haven’t had the same pathways to advancement as other avenues. We have little over 20 percent of our employees are Black and only seven percent of our senior leadership is Black. Fifteen percent of our overall leadership is Black. Those numbers actually stack up pretty well, relative to a lot of Fortune 500 companies, in terms of total leadership levels, but it’s not nearly good enough.”
At a time where our nation needs to heal from the horrendous pandemic that has set us back socially, economically, and racially, first-rate companies like yours should promote, not hinder, the American Dream. You should be leading the charge to encourage tolerance and help Americans become closer again. Your policy does the opposite, and if other woke CEOs decide to copy your actions, we are going to face a much longer, harder, and less complete recovery.
But as it stands, you are succumbing to the dangerous policies of the far Left and compromising the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Your position on COVID-19 is the latest cowardly move that Delta has made to curry favor with an administration that is driving our country into the ground.
The American Conservative Union is committed to respecting the individual rights of Americans and preserving their freedoms. Our system of government and our economy are unique in the world and are models to help other nations and other peoples lift themselves out of poverty and into prosperity. These principles are timeless and affirming, and ought to be considered by Delta Air Lines as it charts its future.
We urge you to refrain from taking an approach that would harm your employees, especially those of color. While COVID-19 remains an issue, it is critical that publicly held companies not use this opportunity to unnecessarily suppress the liberties of hard-working Americans.
The American Conservative Union