Remarks contradict airline company’s COVID guidance released last week declaring all unvaccinated employees will face termination by November deadline.

Source: Jamie White

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said none of his unvaccinated employees will be fired as a result of defying Biden’s vaccine mandate.

“We’re not going to fire any employees over this. We’re urging all of our employees to get vaccinated. If they can’t get vaccinated, we’re urging them to seek an accommodation, so we’ll do everything we can to support our people here,” Kelly told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.https://www.youtube.com/embed/0xK4vnx4QCg?start=131

“This is a government mandate, it’s a presidential order, and we’re doing our best to comply with that according to the deadlines that have been set,” Kelly added.

Kelly’s remarks contradict Southwest’s October 4 announcement declaring that any employee of its 54,000-strong workforce will be terminated if they don’t take the COVID injection by November 24.

“Failure to comply with the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy will result in termination of employment.” the companywide memo states.

Kelly also insisted “no evidence” exists that the thousands of flight cancellations that took place over the weekend had anything to do with walkouts over the vaccine mandate.

“There’s just no evidence of that,” Kelly said. “Our people are working very hard, they’re doing a great job, I’m very proud of them.”

As we reported, pilots and airline workers are indeed resisting Southwest’s vaccine mandates, evidenced by photos and testimony online.

Southwest had tried claiming the flight cancellations were the result of “disruptive weather” and “air traffic control issues,” but Kelly attributed the slowdown the airports to employee “absenteeism.”

In a prior interview on Tuesday, Kelly blamed the Biden administration for the chaos caused by the vaccine mandate, saying he’s “never been in favor of imposing” vaccine mandates.

It’s unclear how exactly the Dallas-based airline will deal with its unvaccinated employees after the Nov. 24 deadline.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed an executive order banning vaccine mandates “by any entity” in the state on Monday, but Southwest signaled it would defer to Biden’s mandate, which still hasn’t been added to the Federal Register.