Commercial Airline Pilot Warns of US Aviation Industry Disruptions Prompted by Biden's Vaxx Mandate
19:00 GMT 12.10.2021 (Updated: 19:03 GMT 12.10.2021)
The American transportation system is already suffering from major problems and delays due to a lack of necessary labour and a significant surge in consumer activity. These factors have led to big queues outside major American ports and at some train junctions.
The Biden administration's vaccination mandate, issued in September, risks disrupting the entire American transportation system, since as much as 30% of pilots and other airline personnel might quit their jobs to avoid having to get jabbed, Joshua Yoder, co-founder of the US Freedom Flyers union of pilots, has warned in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Yoder warned of potential repercussions for the economy as a result of carrying on with the vaccination order, which mandates all government employees, as well as workers at government contractors, to get COVID-19 vaccine shots under the threat of losing their jobs.
"If you have flights reduced by 30% because 30% of pilots are fired because they won’t take the vaccine, this is going to affect how your goods get here from overseas, how they are distributed to the store. Those Amazon boxes that typically show up in two days, you might be looking at three weeks".
The co-head of the pilots' union noted that the power in this situation is not with the US government, but with the US workers, who can simply say "no" to the vaccination demands. And if they lose their jobs, transport system disruptions will follow, hurting many Americans. Yoder added that if this happens, it would be Joe Biden's fault.
The pilot added that he would not be openly calling for his colleagues to organise "mass sick-outs or walkouts", but said he strongly opposes the infringement of rights by the US administration.
"My motive for resisting it is primarily religious for myself. Many of us don’t want to take this. People were being coerced, I believe in freedom and I’m here to support the freedom of my fellow employees and all people across this country. I’m not going to take a mandate, I’m not going to be forced to do something I don’t believe in".
Yoder is not alone in the airline industry to openly oppose the vaccine mandate from Joe Biden, who said in September that the vaccinated portion of the US, 56.4% of the total population, had waited long enough for the vaccine-hesitant to take their shots and that they had sacrificed a lot for them already. CEO of Southwest Airlines, Gary Kelly, said he opposed the mandate, which affected most American airlines since they are government contractors. Kelly said he believes that whether or not to take the vaccine should be decided by every person individually, not by some corporation or the government.
"I’ve never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate. I’m not in favor of that, never have been".
The Southwest Airlines CEO added that the company advises its employees to seek accommodation either for medical or religious reasons if they do not want to get vaccinated. He noted that the company still plans to comply with the order and to get everyone except those with accommodations vaccinated against COVID-19 by the 8 December deadline.
11 October 2021, 12:03 GMT
The warning about possible disruptions in airline services comes as many retailers have resorted to air transportation amid disruptions and delays in shipments by sea and land across the country. Dozens of ships are waiting in queues outside major US ports as the latter struggle to process the increased flow of goods ahead of the holiday season, coupled with labour force shortages due to the pandemic. Railroad junctions are also struggling to send out goods in time, but are still falling behind schedule. Trucking companies are also experiencing a severe lack of drivers to move goods across the US and deliver them in time.