A flyer that circulated online for the event called for a peaceful protest against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, calling on workers and others to gather outside the headquarters.
“Let your voice be heard,” the flyer says. “Please join your Southwest Cohearts, vaccinated or not, in exercising your first amendment right to a peaceful protest of the recent Covid-19 vaccination mandate.”
Some protesters were seen holding signs that read, “No jabs for jobs,” “freedom not force,” and “terminate the mandate,” CBS Dallas reported.
Earlier in October, Southwest announced it would require COVID-19 vaccines for all its workers, including pilots, with medical or religious exemptions.
The airline’s CEO, Gary Kelly, said last week that while he disagrees with the mandate, he has to implement the requirement after President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 announcement requiring COVID-19 vaccines for federal contractors. Southwest is a federal contractor, he said.
“I’ve never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate. I’m not in favor of that. Never have been,” Kelly told CNBC. “But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines, have to have a [vaccine] mandate … in place by Dec. 8, so we’re working through that.”
Other than Southwest, United Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines have announced they would mandate vaccinations for their employees. Delta Air Lines has not mandated COVID-19 vaccines for workers, but has forced unvaccinated employees to pay a monthly $200 surcharge for healthcare.