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Decatur ULA employees protest vaccine requirement

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Workers at the Decatur United Launch Alliance plant spent parts of Tuesday protesting the company's vaccine requirement.

They say being forced by their employer to get the shot is against their rights as Americans.

"Having a shot we don't feel comfortable with forced upon is we feel is very unamerican. We are doing what I think is our patriotic duty," said ULA welder Tyler Morrison. "Everybody who doesn't attend work today...they're going to know that those people are not happy employees."

ULA employees weren't the only ones putting up a fight. Cricket Farr works at a different manufacturing plant in Decatur. He foresees similar requirements coming his way.

"Just because I don't work here doesn't mean that it's not coming (to me)," said Cricket Farr. "And once it comes down there, I tell you I'm losing my job. I will not have that job."

Protestors say most either took a vacation day or were protesting off the clock. They say they did this to not disrupt production of the rockets.

"We make the rockets," said Morrison. "They get the contracts but they can't get work done without us."

Employees protested late Monday, early Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon during shift changes outside the Decatur plant.

WAAY 31 has reached out to ULA for their response to the protests, and received this:

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, the health and safety of the ULA team and everyone in our buildings have been at the forefront of our COVID-19 response. We are monitoring daily White House, Department of Defense and customer ​direction to ensure our COVID-19 policies are compliant. We have received multiple contract modifications in the last few weeks that flow firm requirements to the company from our U.S. government customer that require all ULA employees to become vaccinated.​

"The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every facet of life over the past 18 months. COVID-19 also is a challenge for our business, a business that is critical to national security and civil space endeavors. ULA decided to require vaccinations to ensure the health and safety of our employees and to align with our U.S. government customer and industry direction. This places ULA in a much better position to meet the nation’s needs and our manifest commitments while protecting the health of everyone at our facilities."

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