Fighting back works…

Southwest Airlines bas done an about face and will not place unvaccinated workers on paid leave after the December 8 deadline.

After thousands of flights were canceled and then one day after a huge protest by employees (see below), management had to back down. The Southwest Pilots Association also sued the airline leading the way for all other employees:

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“The new vaccine mandate unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021.  Southwest Airlines’ additional new and unilateral modification of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is in clear violation of the RLA.”

CNBC reports that Senior management at Southwest sent a letter to employees backing off the plan to put unvaccinated employees who have applied for but haven’t received a religious or medical exemption on unpaid leave:

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“This is a change from what was previously communicated. Initially, we communicated that these Employees would be put on unpaid leave and that is no longer the case.”

A huge protest from Southwest employees yesterday:

SOUTHWEST FLIGHTS CANCELED:

Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,800 flights this weekend, leaving many to speculate about pilots staying home to quietly protest COVID jab mandates. In addition, the massive number of flight cancellations are forcing Southwest agents to scramble to find replacement flights for thousands of unhappy customers whose travel plans have been disrupted by the cancelations.

Southwest is blaming bad weather, air traffic control issues, and a staff shortage for the cancelations. However, customers are left questioning the authenticity of the “bad weather” excuse, as reports about great weather with clear skies are coming out of Florida.

CNBC reports – “I know this is incredibly difficult for all of you, and our customers are not happy,” Alan Kasher, executive vice president of daily flight operations, told staff in a note on Sunday, which was seen by CNBC.

The airline blamed initial problems on bad weather and an “FAA-imposed air traffic management program.”

“Although we were staffed for the weekend, we could not anticipate the significant disruption that was created from unexpected ATC issues and bad weather across our Florida stations,” said Kasher.

Other airlines canceled relatively few flights. Southwest did not comment on the disparity.

The Federal Aviation Administration said there were a “few hours” of flight delays on Friday afternoon because of severe weather and staffing issues at Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center, which controls airspace in five parts of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday,” the FAA said. “Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place. Please contact the airlines for details about current flight schedules.”

Popular conservative attorney Mike Cernovich called out Southwest for being dishonest with customers, tweeting: Southwest needs to tell the truth!

Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posbiec asked why the “weather’ is only disrupting Southwest?

Southwest apologized to travelers for long customer service waits. The airline said in a statement expected to get close to normal operations by Sunday, but disruptions worsened.

The “Libs of Tik Tok,” a Twitter account that mocks liberalism, shared a video showing massive crowds stranded with just 4 desk agents as Southwest cancels 1,000+ flights.

The Dallas-based airline canceled 1,019 flights on Sunday, 28% of its schedule, after canceling 808 flights on Saturday, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. American Airlines, which operates a large hub in Miami, in comparison, canceled 66 mainline flights, or 2% of its operation on Saturday and Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Spirit Airlines canceled 32 flights, 4% of its schedule.

The disparity between Southwest’s operation and other airlines fueled speculation on social media that employees were calling in sick, with some suggesting it was in protest of a Covid vaccine mandate.

Conservative activist Melissa Tate tweeted about her hope the Southwest pilots will “spark a rebellion” to “save humanity from tyranny” with their alleged strike against COVID vaccine mandates.

Seth Dillon, conservative CEO of the satire site The Babylon Bee tweeted: “I hope it’s a strike. And I hope more companies face similar resistance from their employees. This is how you get vaccine mandates reversed.”

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, Southwest pilots’ labor union, said that “we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.”

On Friday, the labor union asked a federal court in Dallas to temporarily block the implementation of the vaccine mandate and other Covid-19 policies, arguing the company took unilateral decisions that require negotiations with the union.

Several Twitter users are convinced Southwest Airlines pilots are striking over the COVID jab mandates.

Conservative Andrew Pollack tweeted: “The fight against medical tyranny is the most important fight of our lifetime.”

He adds: “I STAND WITH SOUTHWEST AIRLINES EMPLOYEES!”

 

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