“We can say with certainty that our pilots are not involved in any official or unofficial professional action,” the union, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said in the statement.
The union said its members “will continue to overcome” management’s “poor planning” and other external challenges, adding that Southwest pilots “always maintain the highest level of accountability to their crews, passengers and our community. airline company”.
Southwest said last week it would join several of its competitors in demanding that all employees get vaccinated, setting a deadline of December 8 to do so. The warrant is needed to continue doing business with the government after President Biden ordered all major federal contractors to require vaccination, Southwest said.
“Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination directive,” airline general manager Gary Kelly said in a statement announcing the mandate. “I encourage all Southwest employees to comply with the federal directive as quickly as possible, because we value every individual and want to ensure job security for all.”
The pilots’ union, which said it did not oppose the vaccination, had warned that the application of such a mandate could lead to labor shortages and flight disruptions. The union is suing the airline for taking a series of “unilateral measures”, including compulsory vaccination.
In a case filed in court on Friday, the union said the warrant “illegally imposed new terms of employment” on pilots and called on a judge to prevent the airline from enforcing the requirement and others. policies and actions.
United Airlines, the first major U.S. carrier to impose a warrant, recently said almost all of its 67,000 employees had been vaccinated, except for about 2,000 who had requested religious or medical exemptions and less than 250 who risked being dismissed for non-compliance. . American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airlines have since followed suit.
Delta Air Lines has said it will not require vaccinations, but will charge unvaccinated employees an additional $ 200 per month for health insurance.