Southwest Airline Cancellations: Mass “Sickout” or Civil Disobedience?

Ryan DeLarme,
October 12th, 2021

As of Tuesday evening, Southwest Airlines has canceled more than 2000 flights as a result of sudden “staffing issues” that arose over the weekend. The airline has cited both weather and a mass “sickout” as reasons for the unprecedented number of cancellations, but some of the company’s employees are claiming otherwise.

Despite the Media and SouthWest Airlines’ claims that weather was in part to blame for the ongoing incident, no other airlines seemed to be as affected. What the press wizards weren’t very keen on reporting at first was that the timing of these “staffing issues” began shortly after Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, which represents some nine thousand pilots, asked a federal court to block the airline’s vaccine mandate, which requires all employees to be vaccinated by December 8th. The peculiar timing sparked rumors that the disruptions were related to the mandate, with some claiming that the staff could be staging an act of civil disobedience. 

The Southwest Airlines Pilot Association has denied the claims. As per the Associated Press:

“‘We are not anti-vaccination at all, but our pilots are extremely worried about how their medicals are going to be handled, if they are unable to fly,’ union president Casey Murray told The Associated Press.

Murray said pilots had not staged a sickout because of the vaccine mandate.

He instead blamed the chaos of the past few days on Southwest’s operation, which he said has become ‘brittle’ and ‘cracks under the slightest pressure.”

The Federal Aviation Administration also denied the claims:

Notwithstanding the above public statements, there are always at least two sides to a misunderstanding, and many of the Pilots are speaking out now as they believe they are being misrepresented. A group of “transportation workers”, including many of these absent pilots, have banded together to fight back against federal and state mandates which “aim to strip Citizens of their right to medical freedom”. The group is calling itself the US Freedom Flyers and they have partnered with the Health Freedom Defense Fund and the Davillier Law Group to defend, preserve, and bring awareness to Informed Consent and Constitutional rights.

In addition to their fight against the federal mandate, US Freedom Flyers have teamed up with Airline Professionals For Justice (AP4J). AP4J was founded to support diverse workgroups in the airline industry and believes in “individual and religious liberty and bodily autonomy”. Together these groups aim to resist being coerced into taking a vaccine to which they object, by requesting genuine religious and/or medical exemptions as guaranteed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As per their website:

Our goal is to push back against the US government’s threats of vaccine mandates for private businesses. We know this effort is not simply a matter of employees versus companies, but citizens opposing illegal and tyrannical mandates by the US government. 

The Biden Administration vaccine mandate announcement on September 9, 2021, made it abundantly clear that its focus is not on maintaining our rights and freedoms as outlined in our Constitution, but on its totalitarian rule.  Our freedoms and lives have been upended because of a virus with a 99.8% recovery rate. We will not allow this fear-mongering campaign to continue on the American people.

This is not about being for or against the Covid-19 vaccine. This is about the government mandating a medical intervention without the informed consent of the individual. We are being asked to violate our fully formed conscience in order to keep our jobs

-US Freedom Flyers Website

US Freedom Flyers speak out:

The co-founder of US Freedom Flyers, Joshua Yoder, appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson earlier this evening to discuss:


Published by Ryan DeLarme

Independent Media, Investigative Journalism

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