Southwest, American airlines workers will have to get vaccinated, despite Texas order

Abbott signed Monday a broad order banning mandates to immunize private businesses employing 100 or more people. The Biden administration announced last month that it would require businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or undergo weekly Covid testing.
American Airlines stated that it is also reviewing Abbott's order. It said that airline officials believe the federal vaccine mandate overrides any state laws. This does not affect American.

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, called the federal mandates legal mandate "unquestionable" and stated that Abbott is playing politics.

Psaki stated, "We have seen from economists after economists, and frankly, many business executives who have worked to implement mandates, that implementing these mandates creates security and reduces the number who are out-of-work sick and worse," She said that it is beneficial for businesses and good for the economy, as well as saving lives.

Psaki stated that "Bottom line" is that we will continue to implement the law. This is because the President of the United States has all the authority, the legal authority, and the ability to do so. He also said that we will continue to work to get people vaccinated to end this pandemic. "The President will use all the levers at his disposal to accomplish that," Psaki said.

Background: Southwest announced recently that it and its sister airlines must comply with the federal vaccination directive in order to continue employment. This means that employees have to be fully vaccinated or approved for religious, medical, or disability exemption by December 8 in order to continue employment on the same date federal contractors must also prove their vaccinations.

According to the administration, it will seek to amend their Civil Reserve Air Fleet contracts in order to require that all employees of the airline be vaccinated. This is a move that top Republicans from the House Transportation Committee and its subcommittee on aviation called "insulting" due to the airlines' contributions to CRAF during the Afghanistan evacuations.

Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, the union's pilots, first applied for exemptions from the pending mandate last month, petitioning administration members to reconsider.

Friday's action by the union was furthered when it filed a legal petition in Dallas Federal Court to temporarily stop the vaccine requirement while it resolves another dispute with Southwest regarding claims of unfair labor practices during Covid.

This is where it is going: The Abbott declaration is very similar to the one that Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis directed the state's legal team to sue federal authorities for requiring cruise ship passengers to prove their immunization status before they board a ship. Florida appealed the decision of a judge who ruled cruise lines cannot ban vaccine passports.

It is possible that the Abbott-Biden mandate staring contest will also be brought to the courts.

The White House provided a Tuesday response to Abbott when asked about its position on Abbott's vaccine mandate guidance for government contractors, which was issued by the Office of Management and Budget Sept. 24. It states that federal contractors as well as subcontractors are "promulgated pursuant Federal law and supersede all contrary State or local laws or ordinances" and "nothing contained in this guidance shall be excused from noncompliance to any applicable State or municipal ordinance."

The DOT could use its broad consumer protection authority and mandate that all pilots and flight crew are vaccinated. It is unlikely that it would without a White House directive. The Biden administration prefers to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for implementation and analysis of its mandates. This creates a more comprehensive enforcement than allowing individual agencies to perform the job.

OSHA is currently reviewing the matter and will issue regulations within the next few weeks.

Julian E.J. This report was contributed by Sorapuru.

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