I wasn't in the least surprised to hear rumors - as yet unconfirmed by the Federal Aviation Administration, and ignored by the mainstream media so far, but confirmed to me by a friend who's an air traffic controller in a major center - that most of the controllers in the Jacksonville, Florida, air traffic center allegedly walked off the job on Friday in protest against the mandate to undergo the COVID-19 vaccination. A similar problem is reported to have occurred in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, although I've not been able to confirm that yet.
Southwest Airlines seems to be deep in the dwang over their vaccination mandate. Bloomberg reports:
Southwest Airlines Co. pilots asked a court to temporarily block the company from carrying out federally mandated coronavirus vaccinations until an existing lawsuit over alleged U.S. labor law violations is resolved.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association’s filing Friday also asked for an immediate hearing on the request before a federal court in Dallas, claiming the carrier has continued to take unilateral actions that violate terms of the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline-union relations. Those steps include the Covid-19 vaccination requirement.
“The new vaccine mandate unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021,” the legal filing said. “Southwest Airlines’ additional new and unilateral modification of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is in clear violation of the RLA.”
Southwest set the deadline on Oct. 4 under a federal vaccination mandate for employees of companies holding contracts with the U.S. government.
There's more at the link.
It appears the pilots there aren't restricting themselves to legal action. Southwest had to cancel up to 2,000 flights this past weekend, citing various reasons (including the ATC problems referred to above, weather, etc.) However, the weather in the cancellation area was reportedly good to excellent, so fliers who found their flights cancelled are not amused by that excuse. Instead, there are widespread reports (again, not in the mainstream media, which appears to be trying to cover up such news) that "large numbers of Southwest pilots are not showing up to work in protest over the vaccine mandate". Some sources claim that Southwest employees are using up all the sick time they've accumulated, in an attempt to put pressure on the airline.
Another report notes:
Essentially, the union cannot organize or even acknowledge the sickout, because doing so would make it an illegal job action. Years ago, Southwest and its pilots had a rough negotiation, and the union would not even let the pilots internally discuss the possibility of working-to-rule (which would have slowed Southwest to a crawl).
But at the moment the pilots don’t even have to talk to each other about what they’re doing. The anger internally - not just among pilots but other Southwest workers - is enormous. The tough prior negotiations notwithstanding, Southwest has a history of decent labor relations, and workers believe the company should stand up for them against the mandate. Telling pilots in particular to comply or face termination has backfired.
One has to feel some sympathy for Southwest. They're in a no-win situation. Like hospitals, they take government money under contract, so they're legally obliged to implement the vaccination mandate; but a large proportion of their staff appear to feel differently. (I don't blame the pilots, given a recent whistleblower warning that flight crew risk sudden and potentially fatal cardiac complications from the vaccine, perhaps even while in the air.) A disease like that means the automatic, immediate and probably permanent loss of flight medical status. Southwest pilots have reportedly complained that their disability insurance does not cover such issues, meaning that their careers might be destroyed almost overnight, with no compensation or guarantee of future income or medical treatment as a result. The vaccine manufacturers can't be sued for such expenses, because they have legal immunity against lawsuits or prosecution. In the pilots' shoes, I wouldn't be terribly happy about that either.
Needless to say, progressive left-wing pundits are anything but thrilled by such resistance. Here's just one over-the-top reaction from Twitter:
The author of the Palmer Report adds: "These loons are about to lose their jobs, and rightly so. But they shouldn’t ever be trusted in positions of security or influence again. I’ve said for years that right wing extremists can’t be trusted in positions of influence, due to their mental incompetence. They keep proving me right." Well, sucks to be him, I guess... I'm on the pilots' side.
I saw a rumor on Gab that "the ferry they use [in Seattle, WA] is now unreliable because of staff shortages due to the mandate". That's been confirmed by the mainstream media, although whether the shortage has been caused by actual illness among staff members, or by resistance to the mandate to be vaccinated, has not been made clear. The report simply cites "COVID-related staffing shortages".
Another friend who's a long-haul trucker (an owner/operator) told me over the weekend that "thousands" of drivers are now refusing to schedule loads to states that are imposing, or will soon impose, COVID vaccination mandates on transport workers (including some of the biggest states in the country, like New York and California). He says he's personally been "begged" by several customers who are "desperate" for drivers. He claims they've even offered him significant sums of money to get the jab so he can drive their cargoes; but he's having none of it, thanks to the widely-reported incidence of problems with the vaccines (well over 500,000 so far in the USA alone). He says it helps that the backlog of freight is so great that he can pick and choose which loads he carries, and which he rejects.
He also told me that many drivers for the big trucking companies are getting more and more adamant with their bosses that if they insist on vaccination, they're going to walk out, and go to work for companies in states that have greater respect for their right to choose. Given the current shortage of drivers (about a 60,000 shortfall since 2019 and rapidly getting worse, particularly in the light of current supply chain problems), he doesn't think they'll have much trouble finding work. Meanwhile, states that have imposed mandates for truck drivers to be vaccinated are said to be already finding incoming truck traffic dropping off significantly - to the distress of businesses there, which can't get their orders in on time or in sufficient quantity.
Many hospitals are complaining about staff shortages, but they're not admitting that a primary cause is the vaccination mandate. One nurse who's quit rather than take it has spilled the beans, and I've had that confirmed by a couple of local nurses who've also resigned rather than be vaccinated. It's said that hospitals across the country are being forced to close entire wards, or shut down the provision of certain medical services, because they can't get enough vaccinated staff to run them. (The hospitals have no choice but to impose the vaxx mandate, because if they don't, they won't be paid by Medicare or Medicaid.) By some estimates, approximately 20% of nursing jobs are currently vacant, with no takers - and it's getting worse.
On the other hand, nurses and doctors who've quit rather than be vaccinated are now being offered jobs in practices and institutions that don't take government money, and can therefore afford to be less doctrinaire and restrictive. To cite just one example, this advertisement has been appearing on Gab in recent days:
I know of several families in need of visiting nurse care who've made private arrangements with nurses who don't want to be vaccinated. They're working unofficially, without registering as home health care providers, and being paid in cash "under the table". Good for them, as far as I'm concerned! They charge lower rates, which saves the families money; but they actually make more money than they used to, because they don't face all the deductions that a hospital would take out of their pay. When medications or supplies are needed, they're bought outside the regular channels (which isn't hard to do in most cases - one can save quite a lot of money that way). Everybody's happy except the bureaucrats.
I've also been told, by a nurse at a major hospital in a very big city a couple of hours' drive from here, that there's quiet, unofficial collusion among the staff to avoid vaccination by accepting an injection of saline solution instead. The official vaccination card is filled in with what they should have received, but in reality they're walking out with a little salty water in their veins instead. In sheer desperation, some hospitals needing to hire travel nurses are said to be issuing them with (and registering with the authorities) brand-new COVID-19 "passports" that are completely fraudulent, not even going through the pretense of a saline injection. My informant told me that without such covert "work-arounds", her hospital would have had to shut down more than half of its departments.
More and more, I'm getting the feeling that there's a broad-based grass-roots groundswell of opposition building to the Biden administration's dogmatic, doctrinaire insistence on using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to impose rigid, authoritarian controls on society. I think it's beginning to backfire on them in more and more ways, and I think they're panicking. After all, without the excuse of COVID-19 to justify their autocratic shenanigans, their whole program falls apart. May it do so quickly! I suspect the ubiquitous public chants of "F*** Joe Biden!", and the hilarious meme of "Let's Go Brandon!" (which is now being merchandised, apparently by the truckload) are yet more evidence of widespread and growing public disdain for this administration and its progressive-left preoccupations.
I entirely approve of this meme that began circulating last week. Clickit to biggit.