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The New Great Debate

I’ve always been taught not to laugh at people when they’re down. No matter how funny it is when somebody is down, you always wait to see if they’re ok to laugh.

But when something happens to a person or group of people that have made millions of people’s lives miserable to make as much money as possible, you can’t help but enjoy it.

If you haven’t heard, Southwest Airlines had to cancel a whole bunch of flights over this busy travel weekend. According to CNN, Southwest ahd to cancel 30% of their flights on Sunday, and at least 10% of their flights on Monday. The official stance of the airline was that “weather and Air Traffic Control issues'' were the cause of the many cancellations. Meanwhile, fellow airlines American and Spirit only canceled 2% of their flights. Just to add to Southwest’s dismay, the Federal Aviation Administration came out and said there have been no ATC cancellations of flights since Friday.

Needless to say, Southwest Airlines tried to save themselves, but their competitors and the federal government said “Oh no no. This is on you chief.” The question then becomes, why did Southwest have to cancel all these flights?

Well, it turns out that it has a lot to do with something that seems to be in all facets of our lives now. It all comes down to Covid.

Just last week, Southwest joined the other airlines in mandating all of their employees get the Covid-19 vaccine. It is speculated that Southwest’s pilots all took time off in protest of the mandate. The Southwest Airlines Pilot Association denied either an organized or unorganized walk out of sorts. They claim it is due to “management issues.”

Now obviously this seems to be just semantics. Obviously if they have an issue with vaccine mandates, then that is a “management issue.” So let’s get that out of the way. And if this wasn’t a protest of the mandate and the issue was due to management issues, then I’d say the pilots are right. This was a pretty bad SNAFU.

Regardless, as usual us average people get the shaft. Which always seems to be the case with the airlines. But I won’t go into that. If you want to read about that go here:

Other than ruining some people’s days and losing Southwest a ton of money, (which they didn’t need in the worst years of their existence) this brings up a more prevalent issue here. Can companies mandate their employees get a vaccine?

Short answer, yes. They can do that. They’re private companies that, in my opinion, can do whatever they want with their employees, as long as it is legal and agreed upon by the employee. I know that goes against the idea of American Freedom that we all believe in. But that would be 100% wrong.

Actually, this is the definition of American Freedom.

Airlines are private businesses, and they have the right to do what they want with their business. If they want to require all of their employees to be vaccinated, go right ahead. It’s theirs, they can do what they want. But that coin has two sides.

Just as the company can do what they want, each individual has every right to do what they want. Therefore, they don’t have to get the vaccine if they don’t want it. Unfortunately for the employee, that means they are probably to get a swift boot out the door. But, if there are contracts involved, these kinds of things could end up in court. Especially if there are unions and collective bargaining involved. Then it becomes a bit of a shitstorm. And if that gets hammered out, then the employees are history. They’ll have to find a job elsewhere and the employer has to find new employees.

Unfortunately for Southwest, pilots aren’t a dime a dozen. They have to have very specific training and certain numbers of hours flying before they’re allowed to legally fly a jet. So it won’t be simple to replace them if that is the issue. They can’t just put a posting on Linkedin for a jet pilot.

The market will eventually straighten itself out. Some vaccinated pilots will profit off of this. The airlines may have to pay out the butt to get those unvaccinated pilots to take the shot, if that is what they’re really worried about. You’d be shocked, but money has a habit of making things disappear.

Now all of that goes for private businesses. Public employees is a totally different question which I am not going to get into, because I’m not a public employee anymore (thankfully).

So basically, when it comes to the debate over private businesses mandating vaccines, I have to say that both sides are right honestly. It is going to result in some huge labor disputes. Which I’m sure happened with other things in the past.

And again, like almost any labor dispute, those not involved are the ones who are getting boned here. I’m sure the people stranded in airports right now will agree with me on that one.

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