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Defense Firms Face Worker Losses as Companies Impose Federal Vaccine Mandate

By Joe Gould and Stephen Losey

Oct 28, 02:39 PM

People participate in a rally and march against COVID-19 mandates on Sept. 13, 2021 in New York City. President Joe Biden has supported and ordered mandates for federal workers as a growing movement has emerged of Americans against both the vaccine and the work mandates to get a vaccine. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Defense firms are warning they expect to lose employees who refuse to comply with a federal COVID vaccination requirement for contractors, due to take effect in December.

Days after Raytheon Technologies chief executive Greg Hayes said the the company may lose “several thousand” workers due to the mandate, Northrop Grumman chief executive Kathy Warden said Thursday the company is still assessing potential losses.

“It’s really too early to predict what those impacts might be, until we have a better sense of not just the pure quantity of employees who may not meet their requirements, but where they work and what they do in our company,” Warden said on the company’s quarterly earnings call.

“We are proactively increasing our hiring now, in anticipation that we may have some loss of workers.”

Some Republican lawmakers have urged the White House to reverse course, suggesting the mandate will result in defense supply chain disruptions and damage national security. The House Armed Services Committee’s ranking member, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and 10 of his colleagues released a letter warning the mandate could yield cost and schedule overruns on key contracts.

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