Southwest Employees Protest Vaccine Mandate at Company’s Headquarters: ‘Let’s Go, Brandon!’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 04: People march as they protest against NYC's coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine mandate that went into effect today for public school employees on October 04, 2021 in New York City. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio ninety-five percent of all full-time DOE employees were vaccinated, …
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Demonstrators, which include Southwest Airlines employees, gathered at the Southwest headquarters in Dallas, Texas, on Monday to protest the company’s vaccine mandate, holding signs and chanting the ever-popular anti-Biden slogan, “Let’s Go, Brandon!”

Videos captured by investigative reporter Drew Hernandez show a long line of demonstrators outside of the company’s headquarters in the Lone Star State, protesting the mandate and holding signs reading “Freedom Not Force,” “Jab or Job: What Kind of Choice Is This,” “Support Gov. Abbott’s ban on Vaccine Mandates,” “No Jabs For Jobs,” and “Let’s Go Brandon!”

Protesters also engaged in the viral chant, “Let’s Go, Brandon!” The phrase soared in popularity after NBC sports reporter Kelli Stavast interviewed NASCAR driver Brandon Brown after his victory at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway this month. The crowd was shouting “Fuck Joe Biden,” but she inexplicably interpreted it “Let’s Go Brandon!”

Gov. Abbott weighed in on the viral “Fuck Joe Biden” (FJB), “Let’s Go, Brandon” movement during an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Friday.

Watch:

Matthew Perdie, Jack Knudsen

Southwest has refused to back down in requiring employees to be vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus, even after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) banned private companies from issuing such mandates. Even after the Texas governor issued an executive mandate stating that the vaccine “should remain voluntary and never enforced,” Southwest maintained the order “supersedes” any local rule. 

“We will continue to follow all orders closely and keep our employees updated on any potential changes to existing policies,” Southwest told UPI last week. 

The protest follows sheer chaos last week after Southwest canceled hundreds flights, leaving thousands of travelers stranded. However, the company’s president, Mike Van de Ven, primarily blamed the cancellations on weather, denying that they had anything to do with internal revolt against the vaccine mandates. However, the excuse triggered suspicions: 

Chris Bianchi, a meteorologist out of Denver, told CNBC that he did not see the type of severe weather that would have caused massive flight delays. “Based on what I’ve seen, there didn’t appear to be any high impact weather that would’ve significantly affected Southwest operations yesterday or today,” he said.

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On Friday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) filed a lawsuit asking that a federal judge “temporarily block the company from carrying out federally mandated coronavirus vaccinations until an existing lawsuit over alleged U.S. labor law violations is resolved,” according to Bloomberg.

According to the legal filing, SWAPA says the mandate “unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021.”

“Southwest Airlines’ additional new and unilateral modification of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is in clear violation of the RLA,” the legal filing adds. 

Last week, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly explained he is not personally in favor of the mandate but suggested the company is strapped by forthcoming federal rules. 

“I’m not in favor of that — never have been. But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines have to have … a vaccine in place by December 8,” he said during an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street.

“So, we’re working through that. We’re urging all of our employees to get vaccinated. If they can’t, we’re urging them to seek an accommodation, either for medical or religious reasons,” he continued, adding that the objective is to “improve health and safety — not for people to lose their jobs.”

“So, yes, we have strong views on that topic, but that is not what was at issue with Southwest over the weekend,” he added. 

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