Southwest, American Among Texas Businesses Defying Governor To Comply With Federal Vaccine Mandate

After an operational meltdown that led to the cancellation of more than 2,000 Southwest flights, false claims that the delays stemmed from COVID-19 vaccine mandate protests spread online.

But one post on social media claims the company’s stance is the opposite.

“SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CEO HAS ANNOUNCED HE WILL NOT BE FOLLOWING BIDENS MANDATE AND WILL NOT BE FIRING ANYONE #FlySouthwest,” an Oct. 13 Facebook post reads.

The post was shared more than 200 times in three days.

Some of the post’s details are off. While it’s true Southwest Airlines’ CEO said he doesn’t support corporate mandates and won’t be firing anyone over one, the company has said it will comply with the Biden administration’s mandate, in defiance of the anti-mandate rule in place in Texas, where the company is headquartered.

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USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who posted the claim for comment.

Southwest will require vaccines for its employees

Southwest Airlines announced Oct. 4 that all its employees must be vaccinated, or approved for an accommodation, by Dec. 8

“Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government's COVID-19 vaccination directive,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in the statement. “I encourage all Southwest Employees to meet the federal directive, as quickly as possible, since we value every individual and want to ensure job security for all.”

While the company is based in Texas, where the state’s Republican governor has issued an anti-mandate rule, the airline told the Austin-American Statesman that the Democratic president’s executive order “supersedes any state mandate or law.” He said the company is required to adhere to it “to remain compliant as a federal contractor.”

More: Southwest president says nothing nefarious behind flight cancellations, airline eyes holiday travel cuts

Despite the company’s compliance, Kelly told CNBC on Oct. 12 that he has “never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate.”

The Southwest CEO also told "Good Morning America" that the disruptions Southwest flyers faced had nothing to do with the airline’s vaccine mandate.

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“We’re doing our best to comply,” Kelly told "GMA" on Oct. 12. “We’re not going to fire any employees over this. We’re urging all of our employees to get vaccinated. If they can’t get vaccinated, we’re urging them to seek an accommodation.”

Southwest Airlines did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

Our rating: Partly false

We rate the claim that Southwest Airlines’ CEO said the company won’t follow the federal vaccine mandate and won’t fire anyone over it as PARTLY FALSE. It's true Southwest Airlines’ CEO said he doesn’t support corporate mandates and won’t be firing anyone over one, but the company has said it will comply with the Biden administration’s mandate.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Southwest will comply with federal vaccine mandate

Source : https://ca.news.yahoo.com/fact-check-southwest-comply-federal-225350863.html

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