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By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Ford Motor will require most of its 32,000-strong U.S. salaried workforce to be vaccinated by Dec. 8.
The second largest U.S. automaker said on Wednesday more than 84% of U.S. salaried employees already are vaccinated. The company deadline for most salaried workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 "aligns to federal contractor guidelines."
Ford was still evaluating its policy for "manufacturing locations, parts depots and Ford Credit, including analyzing federal and collective bargaining requirements."
"The health and safety of our workforce remains our top priority and we have been very encouraged by the support of our employees to comply with our protocols, including the more than 84-percent of U.S. salaried employees who are already vaccinated," Ford said in a statement.
"As we continue to put measures in place to protect our team, Ford will now require most U.S. salaried employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, which also aligns to federal contractor guidelines."
Ford said salaried workers who refuse to comply and do not get an approved medical or religious exemption could be placed on up to 30 days unpaid leave.
Detroit's Big Three automakers - General Motors Co, Ford and Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV - said last month they would mandate vaccines for automakers in Canada.
Stellantis said on Wednesday it was "continuing to monitor the situation and, in partnership with the (United Auto Workers union), evaluating additional actions to take in the best interest of employee health and safety."
GM did not immediately comment Wednesday.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Howard Goller)