Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees.
The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues. But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue.
Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters.
By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down.
Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees.Trending:
“The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber.
And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement.
The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported.
It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.