A seafood processing company with operations in Alaska and Washington state will require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Our team often works in close quarters and in remote communities with limited access to health care resources,” Rodger May, president and chief growth officer at Peter Pan Seafood Co., said in a statement.
“Requiring employees to be vaccinated is the new gold standard. This is the best way I know to keep them and the communities we work in as healthy as possible,” May said.
The policy will be enacted in tiers. The first tier includes employees at company headquarters in Bellevue, Washington; the Seattle warehouse; Alaska processing facilities in Valdez, Port Moller, Dillingham, and Alaska support centers in Dillingham, Sand Point and Naknek.
Those employees already have a 95% vaccination rate. The others must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.
The second tier includes all employees at the processor’s facility in King Cove, Alaska. A deadline for those employees will be announced later.
The company said in an email to The Associated Press that 80% of its employees are included in the first tier, with the rest working in King Cove. Peter Pan didn’t respond to a question asking how many employees were in each tier.
Exceptions will be made for people who have medical or religious reasons not to be vaccinated, but employees who don’t fall under those categories and choose not to be vaccinated will be fired, the email to the AP said.
The mandatory vaccinations do not apply to crew members in the fishing fleet, which operate separately from Peter Pan, the email said.