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Southwest Employees Stage Vaccine Protest at Headquarters and in Court

Southwest unveils 737-800 Heart interior

A group of Southwest Airlines employees are taking a stand against the carrier joining the federal vaccine mandate.
Southwest Airlines workers are fighting against the carrier’s plans to join the vaccine mandate by staging a protest in front of the Dallas headquarters and in a federal court.


Both events happened on Monday, October 18, 2021, as the employees seek an alternative to either accepting the vaccine or potentially losing their jobs.

Southwest Pilots Ask Court for Time, While Employees Stage Demonstration

The demonstration at the headquarters drew a crowd of over 100 people, including current employees, former workers and supporters. According to Dallas CBS affiliate KTVT-TV, the group were protesting for “medical freedom,” holding signs reading “Freedom, Not Force” and “No Jabs for Jobs.”

There are conflicting reports on Southwest Airlines’ Pilots Association (SWAPA) participation in organizing the event. The union has not made any public comments about the demonstration.

The protest also attracted the attention of current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Dallas Fox affiliate KDFW-TV reports the politician told the group they intend to contest the federal mandate in court. Paxton is up for re-election in 2022.

“We’re already planning our lawsuits. I’m already organizing with other states,” Paxton told KDFW. “I promise you this: We will fight for you. We will do everything under our constitution.”

The attorney general is not the only one turning to the courts to block the vaccine mandate. Bloomberg reports SWAPA is asking a Texas federal judge to block the November 24, 2021 deadline for employees to be vaccinated.

Instead, they are petitioning the court to wait until their current lawsuit against the airline is resolved. In August 2021, SWAPA accused the carrier of violating federal law by changing working conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement to Bloomberg, the airline called their filing for the injunction “extraordinary,” noting the airline would suffer “substantial harm” if they were to lose federal contracts due to the Biden administration’s mandate via executive order.

Protests Come After Airline Claims Network Problems Were Not Part of “Sickout”

Although the protests were driven by employees, both the carrier and pilots’ union continue to say the network meltdown earlier in October was not due to employee actions. After a statement from airline president and COO Mike Van de Ven outlined what caused the issues, SWAPA vice president Michael Santoro wrote an opinion piece for USA Today confirming “pilots did not cause our airlines recent operational problems.”

FlyboyFish October 29, 2021

So simple just fire all the irresponsible employees so I can fly safely.  There has to be a penalty for these anti-social people.

NonnaGoes October 20, 2021

Petulant children. Vaccinations are required for many reasons, including coming to this and many other countries. 

downinit October 20, 2021

All of 100 people showed up, of which, most are apparently not even active employees.  Sounds like quite the movement. Meanwhile, nearly 7 billion shots have been administered across 184 countries, and the zombie apocalypse has still not come into fruition as promised (unless you count the antivaxxers as zombies).

fletchbo October 19, 2021