July 23, 2024

Media Blackout Continues With Southwest; Amtrak Workers May Join “Sick Out”

DavesPaper.com | October 11, 2021

Going into Monday evening, the mainstream media is about as silent reporting the events surrounding the Southwest canceling and re-scheduling flights as they were reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Here is what DavesPaper.com knows as of 9pm EST.

Amtrak Train Crews Allegedly Joins The Walkout Started By Air Traffic Controllers And Southwest Pilots – MSM Ignores The Walkout

DefiantAmerica.com | by Kellyanne Richardson | October 11, 2021

Amtrak announced it will require nearly all of its 18,000 employees be fully Vaccinated by Nov. 22. Multiple sources are reporting that train crews have now joined the protest started by Air Traffic Controllers and Southwest pilots and employees.

Rumors that American Airlines pilots are next.

Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights on Sunday as employees continue to react to the company’s decision to impose vaccine mandates. Earlier this week, employees learned they would be required to be vaccinated by December 8 or face termination. Reports circulating on social media suggest disgruntled employees responded to the mandate with a #sickout. Speaking on condition of anonymity, an employee for Southwest said, “The pilots are very upset. There is no organized sick out, but many employees are very disgruntled.”

The pushback began Friday when a reported 3 out of 35 employees showed up for work at the Jacksonville center. According to the source, “almost every flight out of Orlando was cancelled,” as employees protested the new mandate. The source went on to suggest that the Biden administration was in touch with several airlines over the past week and “threatened all CEO’s” to enforce vaccine mandates.

Southwest is not the only airline encountering significant pushback from its employees. United Airlines has reportedly imposed mandates and is placing pilots on “unpaid administrative leave” while the airline reviews applications for religious exemptions, which raises questions of legality. To further muddy the waters, Southwest’s pilot union has reportedly offered “significant” support to United pilots trying to fight company mandates.

The source estimates that nearly 50% of Southwest pilots remain unvaccinated. If airlines continue down this path, the growing fear is the response will “break the system.” “Things are going to get a lot worse,” he said. As many pilots consider their options leading up to the December 8 deadline, it is becoming increasingly clear that the new mandates are slowly chipping away at the foundation of America’s economy.

In the meantime Southwest Pilots Union Sues To Block Airline’s Vaccination Mandate

In what appears to be one of the first cases of a union pushing back against the new COVID vaccination requirements handed down by the Biden Administration, a union representing pilots at Southwest Airlines is suing to stop the vaccine requirement from being forced until a lawsuit is resolved.

Bloomberg reports that the union representing Southwest’s pilots has asked a court to grant a temporary stay against the federal vaccination rules until an ongoing lawsuit over what they allege are violations of US labor laws is resolved.

In a court filing on Friday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association also asked for an immediate hearing on the request before a federal court in Dallas, claiming the carrier has continued to take unilateral actions that violate terms of the Railway Labor Act, which governs relations between airlines and employee unions. The “unilateral action” in question is the company’s attempt (at the Biden Administration’s direction) to force workers to either get the jab, or be fired or sent on unpaid leave, Bloomberg reports.

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

According to the guidelines set out by President Biden (and “voluntarily” embraced by most of the major airlines), Southwest has a deadline of Oct. 4 under the federal mandate for employees to get jabbed or have an approved medical or religious exemption. SW is affected by the mandate because it has contracts with the federal government (like many large businesses).

Source: Amtrak Train Crews Allegedly Joins The Walkout Started By Air Traffic Controllers And Southwest Pilots – MSM Ignores The Walkout (defiantamerica.com)

Southwest Pilots Union Says Vaccine Mandate, ‘Sickouts’ Not to Blame for Canceled Flights

The Epoch Times | by Jack Phillips | October 11, 2021

The union representing Southwest Airlines pilots disputed allegations that its members held a mass sickout in protest of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Over the weekend and on Oct. 11, Southwest canceled more than 2,000 flights, according to tracking website FlightAware; the airline blamed inclement weather, and an executive claimed that staffing shortages may be to blame. On social media and beyond, there were claims that pilots were engaging in mass “sickouts”—when workers use their sick leave to stay home in a concerted effort to send a message—over the vaccine mandate.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speculated on Twitter that the cancellations were “Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate at work,” adding that “suddenly, we’re short on pilots [and] air traffic controllers.” Cruz was referring to an executive order mandating vaccines for federal workers and federal contractors. Southwest last week announced it would mandate vaccines for its employees, with some exemptions, as the airline is considered a federal control and has to comply with Biden’s mandate.

But the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) said that federal law doesn’t permit such actions.

“There are false claims of job actions by Southwest Pilots currently gaining traction on social media and making their way into mainstream news. I can say with certainty that there are no work slowdowns or sickouts either related to the recent mandatory vaccine mandate or otherwise,” the group, which filed a lawsuit against Southwest over its vaccine mandate, wrote in a statement on Oct. 10. “SWAPA has not authorized, and will not condone, any job action.”

Instead, SWAPA blamed Southwest for mismanagement. Other airlines, the union said, were able to deal with air-traffic controller issues and poor weather conditions but Southwest wasn’t.

“SWAPA has grave concerns about the direction Southwest Airlines has taken in putting profits ahead of people. Enough is enough. We need leadership, not apologies. We need accountability for those responsible for this months-long debacle,” the union wrote.

Southwest officials didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

A Southwest spokeswoman told news outlets on Oct. 11 that allegations that the carrier’s vaccine mandate was the cause of the delay were “inaccurate.”

“There’s a lot of unfounded rumor and speculation circulating,” she said.

But in a Twitter post on Oct. 10, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wrote that air-traffic control issues that were cited by Southwest had cleared up on Oct. 8—before the cancellations occurred.

“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 enroute center,” the agency wrote on Twitter. Some airlines, it added, are encountering scheduling issues because of crews and aircraft being out of place.

FlightAware data shows that Southwest canceled about 800 flights on Oct. 9, more than 1,000 flights on Oct. 10, and 363 flights on Oct. 11. Hundreds of more flights also were delayed over the weekend.

Source: Southwest Pilots Union Says Vaccine Mandate, ‘Sickouts’ Not to Blame for Canceled Flights (theepochtimes.com)

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