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Southwest Cancels Hundreds of Flights Again, Denies It's Due to Massive Pilot COVID Vax Protest: Report

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Southwest Airlines cancelled over 2,000 flights this weekend and hundreds more on Monday as pilots are reportedly refusing to work as a result of a coronavirus vaccine mandate, although it is tough to confirm that a “sick-out” is occurring at this time.

Southwest’s pilot association denied a sick-out in a news release issued Saturday which said, “SWAPA is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.”

The pilot’s association filed a lawsuit against the company on Friday, requesting that a federal court block the company’s ability to mandate the vaccine. They argue it violates the Railway Labor Act, according to Bloomberg.

The Railway Labor Act sets guidelines for relations between unions and airlines.

The Biden administration put out rules for airline employees to get the vaccine, as they have contracts with the federal government. Most major airlines are complying with the guidance.

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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,” the filing said, according to Bloomberg.

“Southwest Airlines’ additional new and unilateral modification of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is in clear violation of the RLA.”

The airline cited weather and air traffic control issues for their sweeping cancellations and even dismissed concerns that staff was protesting its newly imposed vaccine mandate, which went along with Biden administration guidance.

“It’s inaccurate,” a Southwest spokeswoman said in an email, according to CNBC.  “There’s a lot of unfounded rumor and speculation circulating.”

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Yet, the Federal Aviation Association said that there were no staffing shortages being reported for air traffic control and that the weather concerns in Florida were minimal. In addition, other airlines were not experiencing delays and cancellations on the same scale.

“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday. Flight delays & cancellations occurred for a few hours Friday PM due to widespread severe weather, military training, & limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville en route center,” the government agency tweeted Sunday.

“Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.”


It seems that Southwest is poorly attempting damage control for the internal issues that they are facing with the mandate, and their customers who had flights this Columbus Day weekend certainly took note.

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Videos: Hundreds of Southwest Workers Line Streets Outside Airline's HQ to Protest COVID Vax Mandate

“Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate at work!” Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted. “Suddenly, we’re short on pilots & air traffic controllers. #ThanksJoe”

If the pilots are really taking action against the vaccine mandate, they should be applauded, as it will likely be tough for people who simply do not want the shot to claim a medical or religious exemption.

Incidents like these will continue to occur if legal action is not taken against these contentious mandates. The entire economy will presumably take a hit as a result.

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Cameron Arcand is a political commentator based in Phoenix, Arizona. His "Young Not Stupid" column launched at The Western Journal in January 2021, making Cameron one of the youngest columnists for a national news outlet in the United States. He has appeared on One America News and Fox 5 DC. Since 2019, he has been a Young America's Foundation member.
Cameron Arcand is a political commentator based in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2017 as a school project, he founded YoungNotStupid.com, which has grown exponentially since its founding. He has interviewed several notable conservative figures, including Dave Rubin, Peggy Grande and Madison Cawthorn.

In September 2020, Cameron joined The Western Journal as a Commentary Writer, where he has written articles on topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the "Recall Gavin Newsom" effort and the 2020 election aftermath. The "Young Not Stupid" column launched at The Western Journal in January 2021, making Cameron one of the youngest columnists for a national news outlet in the United States. He has appeared on One America News and Fox 5 DC. He has been a Young America's Foundation member since 2019.
Location
Phoenix
Languages Spoken
English




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