The Chicago Transit Authority announced Friday it will require its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 25.
Nearly 11,000 employees work for CTA and must now provide proof of vaccination or face disciplinary action that could include dismissal.
“Our goal is not to fire anyone. Our goal is to provide everyone with a safe work and travel environment,” CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The CTA joins the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois and commercial businesses in mandating COVID-19 vaccination.
“We fully believe that the choice of a vaccination should be up to a person and not forced upon them,” said Keith Hill, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241 president, who represents bus employees. “We do plan on trying to fight this. Our attorneys went to the circuit court to get an injunction this afternoon.”
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, which represents workers on the CTA L system, did not respond to a request for comment.
“In order for us to continue safely serving the Chicago area, it is now time for the remainder of our workforce to join the nearly 200 million Americans who are fully-vaccinated to help fight off these variants and protect our loved ones and others who cannot be vaccinated,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said in a statement.
The CTA launched an internal, on-site employee vaccination program in February, making the CTA one of the first major transit agencies in the nation to do so.