Like its sister airlines, Southwest has said its contracts with the federal government require “full compliance” with the federal vaccination directive. Employees must be fully vaccinated, or approved for religious, medical, or disability exemption, by Dec. 8 to continue working – the same date that federal contractors must prove they have been vaccinated. When their exemption request failed, the union then filed an injunction in federal court in Dallas to temporarily block the vaccine’s mandate.
Additionally, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an edict banning vaccination warrants for private businesses in the state. Despite Abbott’s action, Southwest said it would continue to require its employees to be vaccinated as per federal executive order.
Decision : Texas District Judge Barbara MG Lynn dismissed SWAPA’s injunction, saying it was “premature” under the Norris-LaGuardia Act, a 1932 law that gives unions the right to organize and strike or use other economic means to influence management.
SWAPA had also argued that Southwest violated the Railway Labor Act, alleging the airline failed to maintain the status quo during the “significant” dispute between the parties. This dispute is a previous lawsuit brought by SWAPA over allegations of unfair labor practices during Covid. “The Court agrees that it does not have jurisdiction in the matter over the disputes of the parties concerning the offending policies”, according to the decision.
But Lynn said the vaccination requirements under the Biden administration’s mandate are obvious: “Requiring Southwest employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will also improve air travel safety, operational efficiency. of Southwest and will promote [collective bargaining agreement]the objective of safe and reasonable working conditions for pilots. Also, since Southwest is a federal contractor, vaccine policy is required by law, ”the judge said.