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Amarillo Bell Helicopter employees hold peaceful protest regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Today, over 50 employees of Bell Helicopter in Amarillo held a peaceful protest outside the facility after the company announced they are requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated.

Employees tell me their fight is not against the company itself, but rather against President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate that is mandating all government employees get vaccinated.

“We all know the companies that are having to enforce this, their hands are tied. They’re just doing what they have to do. A lot of us here are willing to lose our jobs over this. I mean, we do love what we do, but God will take us somewhere else,” said Bradley Johnson, structure flight mechanic at Bell.

If Bell employees are not fully vaccinated by December 8, and did not get a religious or medical exemption, workers have been told they will be terminated.

“Just the freedom that has gotten stripped from us that we have fought for. Most of us that work here at Bell were in prior service military and a lot of us have fought over seas for freedoms that we come here and I feel like it gets stripped from us,” said Nathan Melton, helicopter mechanic at Bell.

Not only were Bell employees present at Wednesday’s protest, but others from the community came to support as well, like a recent employee of Pantex who just quit after learning about a vaccine mandate.

“The mandate came out Monday from Pantex and Monday night, I submitted my paperwork for retirement. It’s because of the overreach of the government and they’re infringing upon our rights. It’s our choice as to what medical treatments we want to have and it’s not the governments choice to push them upon us,” said Ed Heath, recent retired Pantex employee.

Bell employees say their next step is to figure out who else here locally is being affected by this, so they can make this a bigger fight across the city.

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