TUCSON, Ariz. — Raytheon is Tucson's largest private employer. It is also requiring all employees to be vaccinated by December 8th. The company says it expects to lose thousands of employees because of the mandate.
One of those employees is a man who chose to speak with KGUN if he could stay anonymous.
"No, I will not get the vaccine," he said. "I will unfortunately retire earlier than I wanted to."
He has worked at Raytheon in Tucson for more than 20 years and currently serves as a project manager.
"I love coming to work, I love the work that we do, I love this company," he said.
Our source and hundreds of other Raytheon employees in Tucson recently joined "The Freedom Alliance," A group of more than 1,000 people protesting the vaccine mandate.
He says some are trying to find new work that won't require them to get vaccinated.
"People are thinking and exploring: 'Can I start my own company? does anyone know of companies of less than 100 people? It's frightening for them."
Our source says it all started about two months ago on September 15th. That's when Raytheon first asked all employees to submit their vaccination status.
About three weeks later workers got another email from Raytheon's HR vice president.
"If you choose not to submit a completed form by October 15, your choice will be treated as a resignation from the company and your employment will be terminated," he explained.
Raytheon says 3% of its employees won't get the vaccine and another three percent applied for a medical or religious exemption.
"This has all been new discovery every other week. When the timeline changes or something else changes. Its been kind of nerve-racking," KGUN's anonymous source said.
He says he applied for an exemption but may not know if it was granted until December 8th, the same day employees face firing if they're not vaccinated.
Any employee who isn't vaccinated and didn't receive an exemption will be placed on unpaid leave.
"I wish they would've fought, I wish they would've given us other options," he said.
"The Freedom Alliance" is asking Raytheon to remove their mandate before December 8th. Their mandate came on the heels of a federal vaccine mandate requiring government employees and contractors to get the shot.
Raytheon's last statement on this upheld the December 8th deadline. When we reached out to them for this story they told us "There are no changes to report."
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