President Joe Biden's directive for employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 will be followed by IBM, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, despite the Texas governor's injunction prohibiting such vaccine mandates.
These three companies, three of Texas's largest, have launched an instant challenge to Republican Governor Greg Abbott as a result of Tuesday's rulings.
"IBM is a government contractor and must comply with federal standards, which require federal contractors' workers to be completely vaccinated against Covid-19 by December 8th or seek a medical or religious accommodation," according to a representative for the New York-based firm.
The spokesman added, "We will continue to protect IBM personnel and clients' health and safety, as well as comply with government regulations."
According to the local chamber of commerce, IBM employs almost 6,000 people in the Austin area alone, and the two airlines have an even larger presence in the state.
The federal government has contracts with both airlines to carry employees and supplies, making them fall under the federal mandate.
"We think the federal vaccine mandate outweighs any competing state legislation, and the Texas restriction has no impact on American," American Airlines stated.
"As a government contractor, we would be expected to comply with the president's directive to remain compliant," the company added.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki critiqued Abbott's efforts to mitigate the effects of Biden's directive, accusing him of "putting politics ahead of health."
She added, "We're going to keep enforcing the law - which the president of the United States has the power, authority, and legal authority to do - and we'll keep working to get more people vaccinated and out of this pandemic."
Southwest was working to get back on schedule after postponing 3,100 flights over four days due to Abbott's order, which came a day after the vaccine issue arose.
As public indignation mounted over long lines, several politicians blamed the delays on staff opposition to mandatory vaccinations.
The airline has set a Nov. 24 deadline for all workers to get completely vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.
Abbott's move occurred in the midst of a nationwide debate over vaccine mandates that has torn corporate America as it strives to appease customers, employers, and regulators.
"No entity in Texas can coerce any individual, including an employee or a consumer, to receive a Covid-19 immunization," Abbott said in his executive order on Monday.