A U.S. pilot with skin in the game recently posted a video decrying vaccine mandates for both public and private sector workers, including airline employees. The video, posted on TikTok on Oct. 7, has garnered millions of views and shares on social media platforms.
Shawn Andrew Walker, the protagonist of the viral video, reported he is facing an “ultimatum, not a choice but an ultimatum” to get the COVID-19 vaccine after serving 18 years in the airline industry as a pilot.
“I’ve been told in order to continue my career as an airline pilot, I must be vaccinated. Which really means I have to choose between putting food on the table for my family and my freedom of choice,” Walker stated.
“Whether you believe vaccination is the right thing to do or not, the situation goes far beyond health,” Walker continued. Soon we will not remember what it felt like to have the freedoms we once did.”
Throughout the video, the pilot warned that if Americans do not unite against federal vaccine mandates now, increased mandates may ensue that infringe on our civil liberties and freedoms, determining how people will “live, every minute of their lives.”
“You may support the vaccine mandates because they fall in line with your current beliefs, but if we let this happen now, there will be a day when what you’re told to do will not fall in line with your beliefs,” Walker added.
At the end of the video, Walker attached a link to US Freedom Flyers for further support. It appears that the video may have been made in efforts to campaign in favor of the established goals of the organization.
According to the organization’s website, US Freedom Flyers is composed of transportation industry employees “who have come together to fight federal and state mandates which aim to strip citizens of their right to medical freedom.” They’re leading efforts to file lawsuits against the Biden Administration in an attempt to stop vaccination mandates of any kind, once they go into effect.
This comes as most commercial airlines announce they will be following Biden’s inoculation mandates and terminating any employee that does not comply by the established date.
Several airline unions, including the Allied Pilots Association and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, have pleaded with the federal government to allow exemptions to the rule, arguing that vaccines “should remain a choice.” They also warned that mandates would result in “labor shortages and serious operational problems” disrupting travel for many.
“Our nation’s airlines, and the traveling public, cannot afford significant service disruptions due to labor shortages,” APA stated. They also remain hopeful that their contributions are considered, especially since they have “shouldered an elevated risk of illness from the start of the pandemic, including well before the vaccines became available.”
It appears that unions and workers from both public and private sectors are prepared to put up a fight – when the time comes. And that timeframe is rapidly approaching as companies ramp up enforcement measures.