The Dallas Morning News reports:
Southwest Airlines and the union representing its pilots say that crew members didn’t call out of work sick to protest vaccine mandates and cripple the carrier’s operations during the busy holiday weekend. The Dallas-based airline has canceled more than 2,000 flights since Friday afternoon, citing a mix of bad weather, air traffic control issues and military flight maneuvers in Florida for causing a cascade of slowdowns that crippled its network through the weekend.
Southwest refuted claims that pilots or other employees called in sick to harm the carrier’s weekend operations. “There is absolutely no evidence of any kind of job action,” said incoming CEO Bob Jordan in an interview with The Dallas Morning News Monday. “Their trips are disrupted, they have unscheduled overnights and they have all the same types of impacts that our customers experience. If anything, I think they’ve been heroes through this trying to operate.”
Read the full article.
Prominent right wingers and Republicans have spent the last few days doing celebratory backflips on social media in praise of the “brave” Southwest pilots they claim are using vacation time or sick days to punish the airline for its vaccine mandate. Examples are below.
— Kyle Arnold (@kylelarnold) October 11, 2021
The fact that thousands of Southwest employees walked off the job protesting the COVID vaccine mandate forcing the airline to cancel more than 1000 flights is not getting enough attention. Media will make sure you don’t see it but keep watching, it won’t be the last protest!
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 11, 2021
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
Southwest Airlines employees have done more for freedom than the entire GOP leadership.
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) October 11, 2021
Imagine if @SouthwestAir chose this moment to stand for their workers, stand for choice, stand for freedom and stand for America. They’d get millions of new lifelong loyal customers overnight. Myself included…#FreedomFlu 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) October 12, 2021
Didn’t expect “Shutdown Southwest Airlines” to come from Texas Republicans. pic.twitter.com/bXGqKMrbeZ
— Jim Swift (@JimSwiftDC) October 11, 2021