Resistance works: Southwest Airlines backs down over sick pay

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Resistance works: Southwest Airlines backs down over sick pay

Southwest Airlines have reversed their controversial decision to put unvaccinated employees – whose requests for medical or religious exemptions remain undecided – on unpaid leave.

Southwest’s quick about-face demonstrates that resisting unconstitutional COVID-19 vaccine mandates works.

After Southwest pilots filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against their company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate earlier this month, Southwest cancelled nearly 2,000 flights, citing “bad weather.” While the airline and pilots’ union were dismissive of the reports of a pilot walkout, reports on Twitter and elsewhere told a different story.

The sudden change in policy toward unvaccinated employees coincides with the release of a third-quarter earnings report today revealing that the carrier lost $75 million due to the massive number of flight cancellations.

The policy change also follows a protest on Monday by hundreds of Southwest employees outside the airline’s headquarters in Dallas demanding that the stringent vaccine mandate be rescinded.

“No medical tyranny should be allowed at Southwest Airlines,” one of the pilot protesters said in a video tweeted by The Post Millennial.

“Our slogan is ‘freedom,’ and yet our executive management is trying to take away our freedom of choice,” he added.

For pilots, not taking the vaccine can be a life-saving measure

Many who seek a religious exemption do so because they cannot in good conscience receive into their bodies an abortion-tainted “vaccine.”

Due to the nature of their jobs, however, pilots face a unique risk of medical harm: an increased possibility of heart failure and clotting while working at high altitudes, endangering the numerous souls aboard their aircraft.

Writing on behalf of United Airlines pilots who in August sought a temporary restraining order against their company’s vaccine mandate, Dr. Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH offered his expert testimony. He said, in part:

I believe within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the COVID-19 vaccine(s) are not safe generally; and particularly dangerous for airline pilots. It is my belief based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the vaccine could cause the death of airline pilots and that their lives are in danger should they be administered the vaccine and travel at high altitudes. I believe within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the data upon which United Airlines has based its mandate upon is flawed and/or inaccurate; and imposing this vaccine is not only dangerous and could cause harm to the pilots, but to their passengers and the public-at-large …

… in my medical expert opinion, the mandatory administration of COVID-19 vaccines in pilots creates unnecessary risk to pilots, flight crew, and the airline passengers of the United States of America.

So for pilots, not taking the vaccine can be a life-saving measure.

Why the Southwest pilot walkout against the vaccine was unofficial, undeclared 

Members of the airline industry have taken to social media to explain why the walkout by Southwest pilots has received no official recognition.

Twitter user Joshua posted a note from his pilot father about the cancellation of Southwest Airline flights:

Want to know why? They told their pilots and flight attendants they had until November to get jabbed. So now they have to use all their banked vacation and personal time or lose it.  And off duty crew are not picking up trips to cover. Jacksonville ATC [Air Traffic Controllers] walked out too Milwaukee ATC is expected to follow today.

There is no weather. Southwest just doesn’t want to tell you the real reason why.

80% of our pilots are ex-military. We see the tyranny that’s happening. They’re coming for essential workers first (nurses, doctors, firefighters, police, military, teachers and transportation workers) and they’re coming for the rest of America next. We’re not doing it for us, we’re doing it for America. We swore to defend the constitution against all enemies.

A Southwest pilot explained in an email to journalist Alex Berenson why the pilots’ union was not publicly supportive of the “sickout” reports:

[T]he union cannot organize or even acknowledge the sickout, because doing so would make it an illegal job action.

But at the moment the pilots don’t even have to talk to each other about what they’re doing. The anger internally – not just among pilots but other Southwest workers – is enormous.

Telling pilots in particular to comply or face termination has backfired.

“This pilot says he loves Southwest and finds the crisis painful but feels that if this is the only way Americans can stand up to these mandates, then let the chips fall,” Berenson concluded.

A lesson from Casablanca

There’s a poignant scene in the 1942 movie Casablanca in which every single patron at Rick’s Cafe is demoralized as eight Nazi soldiers – just eight members of the foreign occupying force – sing German national songs. They seem to hold great power over the hundred or so mostly French nationals and expatriates packed into the room.

As the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, is played, the demeanor of every soul in the cafe is  transformed. Everyone jumps to their feet and joins in, singing in unison.

Suddenly, it’s the Nazis who are demoralized. They are clearly outnumbered … and what’s more, what they are saying to each other is completely drowned out and they give up. They are proven to be powerless bullies.

Like the Nazis at Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca, thanks to Southwest Airlines’ pilots and others boldly taking a stance, the airlines’ management team has backed down on their cruel COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

 

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