Airline employees who may be engaged in sick outs over vaccine mandates are told to lie. They can’t speak publicly about what they are doing, because it would be an illegal job action under the Railway Labor Act. So while the Southwest Airlines pilots union says of course none of their members would call out sick to hurt the carrier’s operation in protest, we even see fairly public implied statements like this one. (HT: Live and Let’s Fly)
This photo was just sent to me of a grounded Southwest plane flying a Gadsden flag out of the cockpit. The Hero Pilots at Southwest and other Airlines deserve our support. True patriots worthy of the American Freedom Fighter tradition.
Don’t Tread On Me.
God Bless Them 🇺🇸✈️🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/tAo9pT4Q60
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 11, 2021
Airlines don’t want to lose employees, especially pilots, and especially right before the busy holiday travel season. So they want employees to get vaccinated, in order not to run afoul of federal mandates (and not to lose their government contracts). What they really want though is not to be forced to fire employees, especially pilots who are costly and time-consuming to train, right as air travel is getting back on track.
So Southwest’s CEO Gary Kelly says he believes companies shouldn’t mandate vaccines, and but has no choice .. so what he wants is employees who don’t want to get vaccinated to take a medical or religious exemption. (Hint, hint, Southwest will approve these.)
I’ve never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate. I’m not in favor of that never have been. But the executive order from president Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors which covers all the major airlines have to have a mandate — a vaccine in place by December the 8th.
We’re working through that we’re urging all of our employees to get vaccinated. If they can’t, we’re urging them to seek an accommodation, either for medical or religious reasons. And my goal, obviously, is that no one loses their job.
United Airlines is being sued over its process for exemptions, delving deeply into employee beliefs and requiring letters from pastors about these beliefs (and telling those who do get an exemption they will go onto unpaid leave). That’s not what we can expect from Southwest, it seems. And don’t forget there’s a pastor who even sells exemption letters.
Fortunately no one is telling employees to print a CDC vaccine card off the internet and handwrite on it, the only challenge the process being finding card stock for it – which may not be important anyway since they’ll just take a scan of it anyway to upload.
I expect conversations like these – ‘speak no evil, hear no evil’ – will be going on across the country as mandates come about, though some employees will feel the need to have their voice heard still and won’t go along.