The anti-vax movement is a worldwide community of people who believe that vaccines are dangerous and unnecessary. They have been vocal on social media, but their protests have been met with opposition from other travelers and airlines. Will they find new homes in the airline industry?
When American Airlines fires its anti-vax crew, where will they go?
on October 8, 2021 by Gary Leff
Employees at American Airlines were informed earlier this year that immunization would not be required. The President of the United States, on the other hand, informed Doug Parker that they had no choice. Employees have until November 24 to produce evidence of vaccination or the airline would initiate the termination process, ahead of a statutory deadline of December 8 for government contractors to be completely vaccinated.
Airlines want their workers to get vaccinated because they don’t want them to become ill and call in sick, leading flights to be canceled due to a crew shortage. They’ve been short on staff as they restructure their schedules, as a consequence of pushing out employees despite government subsidies designed to prevent them from doing so.
According to the airline, approximately 70% of pilots and the bulk of staff have been vaccinated (compared to over 80 percent of employees at Delta, and a reported 99 percent at United though this excludes those that have been granted religious or medical exemptions).
Vaccination requirements for workers, on the other hand, do nothing to safeguard passengers who spend the majority of their time in close proximity to other passengers, such as in the security and check-in queues, the gate area, and the middle seat next to them.
Employees may not all desire vaccinations, particularly at American Airlines, where over 4000 pilots were reported to be unvaccinated in recent reports. On Thursday, several American workers staged a protest outside the company’s headquarters. Pilots pose the biggest danger to the airline (replacing pilots takes considerably longer and costs more money than replacing other workers), but cabin crew social media groups have also been buzzing about the problem.
Today in Dallas, there was a little demonstration at the AA headquarters. There was a lot of encouragement from passers-by. Resistance is on the rise. @AmericanAir pic.twitter.com/VeaOtL1YtS #WeWon’tCompliance#OurBodyOurChoice #MedicalFreedom
@MommaBear737 (@MommaBear737) MommaBear737 (@MommaBear737) MommaBear737 (@M 7th of October, 2021
Some commentators have speculated on what a pilot who is considering resigning might do if they weren’t flying for American Airlines. Because of union seniority, this is a valid question.
- Many regional carriers in the United States do not have vaccination requirements at this time.
- Many international airlines do not, yet traveling to many locations is just not feasible without immunization.
- Leaving your present airline typically entails “beginning from the bottom” and foregoing seniority, lower income, fewer appealing scheduling, and a worse overall quality of life.
Older pilots — one American pilot mentioned in the article has been flying for almost 30 years – may be on the verge of mandatory retirement and would like to retire sooner rather than later.
The newest pilots may be less likely to be immunized, but they would sacrifice less in order to relocate. The majority of pilots, on the other hand, have much too much to lose, and I’d be shocked if they don’t get vaccinated. More phony vaccination cards are on the way.
American Airlines accuses the federal government for requiring vaccines without providing an alternative (that it is regarded like a government contractor rather than a major employer). In addition, I imagine pilots will blame the airline for refusing to give up government subsidies.
Protesting in front of Skyview, I’m not sure what the change model is here. Instead of demonstrating in front of the White House, it seems that people worried about vaccination mandates should be protesting in front of the White House. The American Airlines pilots union is already predicting Christmas mayhem and disrupted travel plans due to a pilot shortage at the world’s biggest airline (and they already, still are short on pilots).
Robert Isom, the airline’s president, was in Phoenix last week urging workers to obtain the Johnson & Johnson vaccination. Although less efficient than an mRNA vaccination, a single dosage of J&J is the most convenient method to fulfill the requirement. Exemptions for religious and medical reasons will also be available. Those who have been given such an exemption have been assured that they will not be fired if they do not work. While religious exemption letters are not required for such an exemption, one pastor sells them.
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines pilots are suing the company over the requirements. Once the regulations are published, there will almost definitely be lawsuits challenging the OSHA requirements for large-employer workers to be vaccinated or tested on a regular basis, and they are likely to be on the most shaky legal ground.