Federal Judge Dismisses Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Effort to Block Vaccine Mandate

8 months ago 91

A national justice successful Texas connected Tuesday threw retired a petition brought by a national that represents Southwest Airlines pilots to artifact the institution from carrying retired its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), which has immoderate 9,000 members, filed a suit earlier this month to forestall the bearer from mandating that its workers get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8 nether national rules, barring spiritual oregon aesculapian exemptions.

The national had argued that the bearer had illegally changed enactment rules alternatively of negotiating with pilots, and successful doing so, violated a national labour law—the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline-labor relations and its corporate bargaining agreement.

In dismissing the union’s petition to temporarily artifact the institution mandate, U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn wrote that the COVID-19 vaccination request for Southwest employees would “likewise amended the information of aerial transportation, ratio of Southwest’s operations.”

The mandate would besides “further the [collective bargaining agreement’s] extremity of harmless and tenable moving conditions for pilots,” the justice wrote successful her 25-page ruling connected Tuesday.

“In addition, due to the fact that Southwest is simply a national contractor, the Vaccine Policy is required by law,” the justice added.

SWAPA said it is disappointed successful the judge’s decision, adding that members are “currently considering adjacent steps,” CNBC reported.

The Epoch Times has contacted SWAPA for further comment.

“What Southwest Airlines is doing is outrageous. It’s in-your-face stuff,” Hal Gillespie, an lawyer for SWAPA told the justice astatine a proceeding connected Oct. 22, adding that the vaccine request has caused “irreparable” harm to the group’s reputation, Bloomberg reported.

Jonathan Fritts, a lawyer for the carrier, told the justice that the policies are successful spot for the information and wellbeing of some employees and customers.

“There’s a precise beardown nationalist involvement here,” Fritts said.

SWAPA antecedently said successful a statement connected its website that the national “is not anti-vaccination, but we bash judge that, nether each circumstances, it is our relation to correspond the wellness and information of our Pilots and bring their concerns to the company.”

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC earlier this period that helium has “never been successful favour of corporations imposing that benignant of a mandate,” and that the bearer lone imposed 1 due to the fact that of President Joe Biden’s enforcement order.

“But the enforcement bid from President Biden mandates that each national employees and past each national contractors, which covers each the large airlines, person to person a [vaccine] mandate” successful spot by Dec. 8, Kelly said.

“My goal, obviously, is that nary 1 loses their job. The nonsubjective here, obviously, is to amended wellness and safety, not for radical to suffer their jobs,” Kelly added.

More recently, Kelly said that the institution won’t occurrence employees who neglect to get vaccinated by the December deadline.

“It is simply a enactment successful progress, and we’re going to proceed moving successful bully religion to conscionable the requirements of the enforcement order. But I’ve already said, and I’m definite you’ve heard, we’re not going to occurrence anybody who doesn’t get vaccinated,” helium said connected Friday successful a connection to quality outlets.

Isabel van Brugen

Isabel van Brugen



Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning writer and presently a quality newsman astatine The Epoch Times. She holds a master's successful paper journalism from City, University of London.