Southwest Airlines pilots and employees are defying corporate and government vaccine restrictions, and it’s about time.
R. M. Huffman is a physician, author, and cultural observer.
Southwest is in the midst of a storm. Over 1,800 flights were canceled by the Texas-based airline over the weekend. Monday wasn’t any better, with nearly 400 additional flights canceled. Alan Kasher, a spokesman for the company, blamed the business disruption on inclement weather in Florida and “problems” with air traffic control.
His assertion was received with quick skepticism, as the FAA argued that no ATC personnel shortages were reported over the weekend, and competitor airlines flying in the same areas only canceled a small percentage of their own flights. Despite Kasher’s reluctance to admit it, the real cause for the cancellations is a well-kept secret. Southwest’s pilots and crews have been told they must get vaccinated, but many refuse.
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly spun the bad news like a turbine on Good Morning America today, alleging “no evidence” that his company’s dismal past few days had anything to do with the vaccine ultimatum he’d handed down to his staff. Of course, it does, and Kelly is well aware of this.
Here’s what’s really going on. Joe Biden declared on September 9 that every company with more than 100 employees will be required to provide vaccines to their staff. “Southwest Airlines will be forced to comply with the federal government’s order for Employees of federal contractors to be completely vaccinated against COVID-19,” the airline informed its employees, pilots, and crew members. The deadline for getting the vaccine, hoping for an exemption, or being fired was set for December 8.
Many of these personnel had already contracted the sickness and beaten it, giving them a natural immunity. Others were concerned about reports of side effects such as thrombosis (for which the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was withdrawn off the market) and myocarditis (for which the Moderna vaccine was also withdrawn from the market). Many people were also aware that, while immunizations reduce hospitalizations and deaths, they don’t totally prevent outbreaks and have shown to have diminishing efficacy.
A mandate mutiny began to brew, whatever the particular motives were. It’s manifested now, exerting itself in a way that can’t be ignored during the previous few days. Pilots accumulate paid sick days for months, if not years, at a time. As their objections have gone unnoticed by executives, they’ve been forced to choose between the humiliation of relinquishing bodily autonomy for corporate compliance or being dismissed and losing their jobs – including all those saved hours – News from Brinkwire in a nutshell. Search the internet for further information.