Over 1,000 flights that account for 28% of Southwest Airlines’ schedule for the weekend starting Friday, October 8th were cancelled due to an apparent strike over vaccine mandates. The airline released a statement citing issues with weather, air traffic control, and staffing. Weather does not appear like a viable excuse because the airlines with the next highest cancellation rates in the same time period were Spirit and Allegiant. The other two airlines only had 4% and 5% of their respective schedules cancelled. If it was about weather, then the problem would affect all airlines in a proportionate way because they all fly in the same airspace at the same time.
Vaccine mandates are an issue with many employees and it looks like staff at Southwest Airlines are sending a clear message. According to “unverified” emails and messages released on social media, the strike has just started. Since the strike is essentially a “mass sick-out” then it cannot be announced as such from labor unions. According to the aforementioned unverified emails, this could be considered an illegal work action. Verification of information disseminated online is not necessary to see the obvious results of the clearly planned strike. Thousands of people have been stranded in airports due to a lack of staff to get planes up in the sky.
Air traffic control appears to be the group that is leading the charge. Pilots will also begin to strike. The issue is not about the efficacy of the vaccine. It is simply about personal choice. The strike seeks to eliminate the mandate imposed upon employees of Southwest, other airlines, and other businesses who then impose it on their employees. The severity of halting over 1/4 of all air traffic from Southwest Airlines will most certainly be enough to wake up people who are sound asleep in terms of understanding the serious nature of vaccine mandates.
URGENT: A Southwest Airlines pilot explains why you will not hear anything about vaccine mandates from his union – and why Southwest has more flexibility than it admits to stand up to the White House – by Alex Berenson – Unreported Truths
Southwest Airlines cancels 1,800 flights, blaming weather and staffing
Southwest Airlines canceled 28% of its weekend flights : NPR
Southwest cancels more than 1,000 weekend flights – CBS News
Christina Pushaw on Twitter: ““Bad weather” that only affects one airline 🤡” / Twitter
Southwest Airlines cancels, delays flights after pilot union asks to block vaccine mandate | KUTV
Crippled Airline Industry to Get $25 Billion Bailout, Part of It as Loans – The New York Times