Federal judge declines Southwest Airlines pilots’ demand to obstruct vaccine required

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Federal judge rejects Southwest Airlines pilots' request to block vaccine mandate

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A Southwest Airlines jet sits at a gate at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida, U.S., October 11, 2021.

Joe Skipper|Reuters

A federal judge in Texas rejected Southwest Airlines pilots union’s demand to briefly obstruct a vaccine required for workers, which is a requirement under brand-new federal government guidelines.

Dallas- based Southwest Airlines need to need personnel to be totally immunized versus Covid-19 byDec 8 unless they get a spiritual or medical exemption, according to guidelines for federal specialists that the Biden administration provided last month.

Southwest and other significant airline companies like Delta, United and American fly federal workers, U.S. mail and supply other services to the federal government.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, which represents some 9,000 pilots, looked for a short-lived limiting order versus the required. The union had actually argued that the required, in addition to other Covid- associated business policies, required to be worked out with the union.

“Requiring Southwest workers to be immunized versus COVID-19 will similarly enhance the security of air transport, performance of Southwest’s operations, and even more the [collective bargaining agreement’s] objective of safe and sensible working conditions for pilots,” U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn composed in her Tuesday judgment, rejecting the union’s limiting order demand and dismissing the case.

The labor union stated it is dissatisfied in the judgment and “we are currently considering next steps.”

It wasn’t the only disagreement over airline companies’ vaccine requireds. United Airlines is combating a suit in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth brought by 6 workers who declared they were unjustly rejected exemptions to the required. The judge briefly obstructed United’s strategy to put personnel with exemptions on overdue leave.