With most major airlines yielding to pressure from the Biden White House to require vaccine mandates, the nation may soon face a transportation and logistics nightmare if a large number of pilots refuse to comply.
Amis reports that Southwest Airlines faced a “mass sick-out” over the weekend in protest of a mandate, forcing the cancelations of over one thousand flights — Southwest disputes the claim — Joshua Yoder, co-founder of U.S. Freedom Flyers, appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to say pilots and others should not be forced to submit to a vaccine mandate.
“First of all, we have all the control, and the control comes from a simple word, and that is ‘no’,” the commercial pilot said. “We just don’t need to comply.”
“My motive for resisting it is primarily religious for myself. Among my friends I saw a need,” Yoder told host Tucker Carlson. “Many of us don’t want to take this. People were being coerced, I believe in freedom and I’m here to support the freedom of my fellow employees and all people across this country. I’m not going to take a mandate, I’m not going to be forced to do something I don’t believe in.”
(Video: Fox News)
Yoder spoke on the effect it will have on both the economy and the everyday lives of Americans if thousands of American workers, to include airline pilots, are fired for not getting vaccinated, explaining that the transportation sector “is the heart and soul of this country, and it’s a very delicate system.”
“If there’s a disruption in one part of the system, it has a catastrophic effect among the rest of the system, which is going to affect commerce, it’s going to affect trade, and ultimately it’s going to affect the economy,” he said. “If you have flights reduced by 30% because 30% of pilots are fired because they won’t take the vaccine, this is going to affect how your goods get here from overseas, how they are distributed to the store.”
“The same thing is happening with the truckers, it’s happening in the shipping industry,” Yoder continued. “Those Amazon boxes that typically show up in two days, you might be looking at three weeks.”
Suggesting people “with essential skills like airline mechanics and traffic controllers and yes, commercial airline pilots, have more power maybe than they realized,” Carlson asked if there may be more “sick-outs” or work actions coming.
Yoder remarked that these Americans have all the control by simply refusing to comply, before stressing that such actions are illegal in his industry.
“As far as I’m concerned I will never promote a sick out or work action, that is illegal,” he said. “With U.S. Freedom Flyers, the organization that I am with, we will never promote such a thing. With that being said, we also cannot control the actions of individuals. I think that you will see massive disruptions in supply chain and in your travel if we just stand up and say no. If these companies fire us and they fire 30% of the workforce, aircraft are going to stop moving and it’s going to affect you. It’s going to affect your air travel and it’s going to affect the economy.”
Informed by Carlson that President Biden will blame them for the fallout, Yoder replied, “It’s his fault, it is squarely his fault. I think anyone with a critical mind can point towards the federal government, and the companies that are enforcing these illegal mandates from the federal government, and see that it’s the federal government’s fault.”
For the record, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association released a statement in response to reports of an illegal protest: “We can say with confidence that our pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.”
“There are false claims of job actions by Southwest pilots currently gaining traction on social media and making their way into mainstream news. I can say with certainty that there are no work slowdowns or sickouts either related to the recent mandatory vaccine mandate or otherwise. Under the (Railway Labor Act), our Union is forbidden from taking job action to resolve labor disputes under these circumstances. SWAPA has not authorized, and will not condone, any job action,” the union’s president, Casey Murray, said in a separate release.
Southwest Airlines also released a statement Monday disputing the claim, reiterating that weather was a deciding factor: “We have a closer to normal operation today, navigating some new weather across our system. The weekend challenges were not a result of Employee demonstrations. To recap the weekend cancellations, the bad weather and ATC issues in Florida, a large operation for us, on Friday night created significant flight disruptions throughout our network and we spent the weekend working to recover from the high number of displaced Crews and aircraft.”
Sen. Ted Cruz retweeted an image of what was purported to be a grounded Southwest plane flying a Gadsden flag out of the cockpit, along with the caption: “Not possible. The corrupt corporate media told me this doesn’t exist.”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 12, 2021
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