The pilot emailed following the first Southwest post today (and provided his SWA ID to prove his identity). He asked that I paraphrase the email.
Essentially, the union cannot organize or even acknowledge the sickout, because doing so would make it an illegal job action. Years ago, Southwest and its pilots had a rough negotiation, and the union would not even let the pilots internally discuss the possibility of working-to-rule (which would have slowed Southwest to a crawl).
But at the moment the pilots don’t even have to talk to each other about what they’re doing. The anger internally - not just among pilots but other Southwest workers - is enormous. The tough prior negotiations notwithstanding, Southwest has a history of decent labor relations, and workers believe the company should stand up for them against the mandate. Telling pilots in particular to comply or face termination has backfired.
Meanwhile, Southwest has more flexibility than it has acknowledged. Federal contracts represent about 3 percent of its revenue, but even the Biden administration CANNOT alter existing contracts (please note, I have not checked this, though it seems reasonable); Southwest is only at risk of losing future contracts.
This pilot believes that the fact that the airlines received $25 billion in no-strings-attached cash for “payroll support” last year (as well another $25 billion in loans) has made them particularly reluctant to stand up to the Biden administration. Southwest’s CEO, Gary Kelly, may be in an especially tough spot since he is the head of the airline lobbying group.
Finally: This pilot says he loves Southwest and finds the crisis painful but feels that if this is the only way Americans can stand up to these mandates, then let the chips fall.
Dear Anonymous SW Pilot:
Until this walkout the Covid mania felt like it was on a runaway train toward dictatorship. Mandates to work, travel, shop, etc. Mandates for kids. It felt inevitable.
What you and your colleagues are doing has given me much needed hope.
From one former Airman to another, I cannot thank you enough. And if you were Navy then that’s okay too :)
If any of these pilots do lose their job, I will be the first in line at their GoFundMe page. They’re standing up for all of us.
I'm proud of these brave patriots. If only all of America would throw of the shackles of this fascist government we might see our freedom back.
Friend just flew from San Francisco to Boston. Alaska Air. Crew didn't show. Hours of delays. So, as you reported, American Airlines personnel (including Alaska Air) is doing it too. Thank God for these people.
This government needs to understand who wheels the real power......NO, is the most powerful word in the English language.
Book a 100% cancelable fight. Wait until the last minute. Cancel the flight. State "No Vax Mandates... No mask mandates..." When you cancel.
I think the war has begun.
God bless Southwest! And TEXAS. BACKBONE is spelled LUV!!!!
I pray that SW employees stand strong and that this is the first of many dominoes that fall telling our government enough. We are taking back our freedom.
To this pilot and others - THANK YOU.
Thankfully there are still heroes.
Alex, please tell this SWA pilot and his/her colleagues how much their courage means to us. As a recently retired airline pilot, I know how much gut wrenching courage it takes to risk your career over something you believe in. Right now, these pilots (and other SWA staff, and the ATC controllers) are the beachhead in the fight to the death over our liberty and freedom as Americans. They are the equivalent of the Marines wading ashore under withering enemy fire. When I first heard of their counterattack, I literally jumped for joy and fist pumped the air! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have the deepest respect for their courage. Please let them know how much this means to their countrymen.
14 yr. SWA Captain here.. I feel totally betrayed by management who touts how much they "care" for their people. We all have lines in the sand and they have certainly crossed it. We stand for freedom of choice. If not now, when? If not us, who? This is our time, this our place! I don't condone job action.. but this will wake a lot of people up.
Back in the "old days" I flew on SWA a LOT and loved them for their frequent, inexpensive, low-frill flights to just about anywhere I wanted/needed to go.
I thank this pilot for his bravery and hope it all ends well. We certainly need folks like him/her!
"This pilot says he loves Southwest and finds the crisis painful but feels that if this is the only way Americans can stand up to these mandates, then let the chips fall." - Amen Brother
I am one of the very few United Pilots that refused to be vaccinated. The rest of our pilots and union are either modern day Hitler Youth or too terrified to stand up for themselves. It is hugely encouraging to see SWA, AA and ATC people standing up for their rights!! If you stand together they will back down.
I’m a 38 year flight attendant and if we don’t stand for our freedoms we have nothing left!
I stand with the flight attendants, ground crew and pilots who value their bodily autonomy!
CANCEL MY FLIGHTS -- CONTINUE THE FIGHT!
I totally applaud SouthWest pilots and support personnel standing up to tyranny. This fraudulent pandemic and toxic vaccines need to stop immediately. After this madness stops what is needed is justice. The media needs to be completely rebuilt and all the psychopaths at the CDC, NIH,FDA and the GATES FOUNDATION need to pay for their lies and crimes.
Thanks to the pilots. We need more sickouts, a general strike all across the country and 100% boycotts for a day a week,
As an Airline Pilot I stand with Southwest Pilots
Go Southwest! We fly SWA.
"Ding! You are now free to move about the country!!"
For those inconvenienced by this, especially if you are currently in an airport, please do your part. Stand in solidarity with these crew members! When the media comes, let them know you do. May I suggest Let’s Go Brandon!
When pilots run out of sick calls, it’s the Mechanics turn, then Flight Attendants, then Ground Crew. Rinse and repeat.
You are not standing up to mandates. You are standing up to psychopaths and tyranny. Well done.
This is the beginning to the end of this BS Mandate . . . We are USA and will not be bullied into doing what is wrong and against our free will.
I’ve been a flight attendant for longer than the number of years I’d been alive when I got hired.
The Covid-era has been the worst of my otherwise wonderful career. I took as much time off as possible since the mask mandate was implemented because I couldn’t in good conscience enforce something I knew was completely ludicrous. I knew when the jab mandates came it would be the end of my career.
Many of us saw the writing on the wall and knew it wasn’t going to stop at masks, or tests or voluntary jabbing.
When Biden announced his 100+ employees mandate and then had the HHS Secretary pressure the legacy airline CEOs, I had trouble sleeping for days.
Today was the first day I actually felt hope, as friends from around the system (in both the airline circle and ATC) started spreading the word about what was happening.
At my airline, which shall remain unnamed to protect the innocent, over 70% of the ground staff are not vaccinated.
This resistance to tyranny will not stop with the pilots.
But the pilots led the way.
So from the bottom of my heart, I thank the pilots at Southwest. My entire career I have placed my trust in the pilots, to safely guide and steer us, and today they’ve also earned my deepest gratitude for helping to steer our entire country in the right direction.
For anyone asking how they can support the pilots, please feel free to visit usfreedomflyers.org. They are a group of transportation professionals working to stop this insanity. They could use support from the public.
As a former Airline Pilot I support the pilots 100%.
As A Delta pilot, you have my support, and admiration. A nationwide work stoppage in all industries would wake this country up quickly. No mandatory vaccine!
My experience is just anecdote of course, but I've flown roughly 35 times since January 2020, the vast majority with Southwest. When the mask bullcrap started I bought a mask that says THIS IS DUMB. It is literally the ONLY mask I'll wear, and only when I have no choice.
I cannot count how many times I encountered a SWA pilot, captain, FA, or gate personnel who saw my mask and one way or another - either with a thumbs-up or a supporting comment in passing or full-blown conversation - expressed complete agreement with and support for the THIS IS DUMB message on my mask.
Again, just anecdote - but my impression is that there are FAR MORE of us out there than the Leftist totalitarians and the alphabet legacy media dare to admit. WE are the majority, and it's damned time we start flexing our muscles for freedom, IMO.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the SW pilots and all that are standing up to this unacceptable power grab. If my time comes (self-employed, but fear that my professional license may soon hinge on "vaccination" status) I will rather walk away than allow
a)any entity other than myself to make decisions about my health and
b) participate, even passively, in centralization of power in this dystopian way.
As a former flight attendant I'm aware of how much pilots love to fly. For them to risk their jobs means A LOT! Thank you for leading the way!
Just spent the afternoon in the ER with my son. I was asked to show my vax card and told them I didn’t have a vax card. They told me it was ok for ER but I wouldn’t be allowed in the main part of the hospital without it!! Thank god my son did not get admitted! This needs to stop! We all need to stand up, and yes this was the same hospital that fired me for refusing to vax! Respect to the pilots!
I'm a truck driver and feel now would be a good time for us to shut down trucking and join this fight.
THIS is what every business needs its employees to do! THIS is what will make them realize WE CANNOT BE PUSHED AROUND. THANK YOU ALL! You’re my heroes!
Go pilots and crew! If I have to drive instead of fly or miss a trip for you to make this important stand, happy to do so. Make it painful to the vax crowd, it’s the only way.
Please pilots, keep it up, I have flown SW throughout the pandemic, yesterdays heroes (according to liberals) are tomorrow villains if they won't capitulate. Please hold the line. You are brave and we are with you!
Thank you to each person who stands up for the freedom of our country! Thank you for doing the right thing and fighting the Good Fight! We are behind you, supporting you, and praying for you. 💕
Take note passengers:
Dianne Feinstein recently introduced the “US Air Travel Safety Act” bill to the house.
It will require every passenger taking off from or landing in a US airport (even a crop dusting strip in a corn field) to either be vaccinated or show proof of a negative PCR COVID test (which will not even be approved by the FDA past the end of this year, because it cannot differentiated between cold/flu and this virus).
It is a stealth bill that will be amended to require vaccination once the PCR tests are phased out after the holidays.
If you value your ability to travel freely, you need to stand up for your rights now. The pilots and other airline professionals can’t do it alone.
Pilots like the individual who emailed you and all the other pilots at Southwest, along with the other employees who are standing up against the vaccine mandate, are heroes. I thank God that they have the courage to stand strong against this totalitarian and destructive oppression.
THEY have power right now that most of us do not. I pray they use it wisely. THANK YOU Southwest pilots and crew.
There are a lot of people who truly loved their company and their job and this mandate business has become heartbreaking.
Dear Anonymous SW Pilot,
Thank you and your colleagues for being true Americans. Standing for freedom and liberation liberty. I had a daughter stranded in Denver who had to rent a car and drive to Chicago but this is what MUST be done! Civil disobedience to wake up others in a covid trance!
Truckers take note....
Thank you for letting us know what's going on, Southwest Airlines pilot! And, thanks to all of the Southwest Airlines employees who oppose the mandates. This act of defiance is important to everyone's freedom, now and in the future.
We stand with you, Southwest pilots!! Thank you for fighting the good fight!! Please don't give up!!!
Honestly I think a lot of other sectors should do this as well, right now in mass, including the medical/all hospital workers, rail workers, etc anyone and everyone possible and make sure the blame gets put where it belongs...on Biden. We’ll just call it 2 weeks to bring the tyrants to their knees
As a homeschool mom, I wish I had a way to provide more immediate resistance to the mandates beyond ignoring the "wear a mask" sign in various places. I am so grateful for those of you who are in a position to stand up and push back against the craziness in our country. I am praying for you all. Stay strong and know you are heroes for many nameless faces in this country. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
This makes me happier than I've been in over a year!
This action by the Southwest pilots is the best, most encouraging news I have heard in the last month or so. My hat is off to all the pilots courageous enough to take this stand against great opposition. It means a lot to so many of us.
This is what we all need to do! Masks are not preventing the spread of the virus, if anything, it is unhealthy for the healthy to wear them.
We all need to take a stand! This is not North Korea. We have a right to choose and a right to stand up for ourselves. They are narcissists who have created this mess and now gaslighting us to confuse us. It is so obvious what the government is trying to do. We can not let them control us. We can not let them separate us or manipulate us into turning against each other. That’s what they want. Vaccinated or not, we are all humans. We have to stick together and be a United front. The more we fight back and stick together, the harder it will be for them to take over!
This is never going to end. They will require booster after booster to hurt more people.