Thousands of Southwest Airlines Co. pilots appear to have joined the fight against vaccine mandates. Over the weekend, the airline canceled nearly 2,000 flights, by far the highest rate of the major U.S. airlines, per tmz.com, and the outages are continuing on Monday, NPR reports. The airline blames a combination of bad weather, traffic control problems and a shortage of available staff, but other airlines canceled relatively few flights.
ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/o1scQJ5lLb— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021
The trending hashtag #DoNotComply also carries strong evidence for a pilot protest, including the following TikTok video highlighted in a tweet from conservative influencer Benny Johnson. The video features a man who says he's been an airline pilot for 18 years and now faces, "not a choice, but an ultimatum":
Last week, Southwest joined competitors United Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue in setting forth a vaccine mandate. Friday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association filed before a federal court in Dallas to temporarily block the company from carrying out the mandate until the resolution of an existing lawsuit over alleged U.S. labor law violations, per Bloomberg.
Conservative influencer Candace Owens, founder of the Blexit movement urging Black Americans to exit the Democratic Party, tweeted her support for the protesting pilots, noting, "No one should comply with a totalitarian regime."
"Hundreds of thousands of troops remain unvaccinated" with deadline to vaccinate approaching.— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 11, 2021
Pilots and ATC are refusing the vax and shutting down airlines.
GOOD. No one anywhere should comply with a totalitarian regime.#DoNotComply https://t.co/ytu9SqzLsB
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined those blaming the flight disruptions on what he calls "Joe Biden's illegal vaccine mandate at work!" in his tweet:
And conservative activist Scott Presler offered some words of advice for potentially disgruntled Southwest customers, also in a tweet:
If you're a Southwest customer who's angry that your flight was cancelled:— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) October 10, 2021
Don't direct your anger at the employees, who aren't showing up for work.
Focus your attention on Southwest for mandating vaccines for a job employees were already doing.
Watch Charisma News for updates on this continuing #DoNotComply situation as more and more Americans respond to vaccine mandates in the airline industry and beyond.
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