Judge rules Southwest Airlines vaccine mandate is lawful, tosses out pilot union’s petition

A federal judge in Texas has rejected a bid by Southwest Airlines pilots to block the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn denied the pilot union’s request to issue a temporary restraining order against the mandate, saying that the airline can legally require vaccines to maintain its operations and improve safety.

The mandate was instituted by the airline as part of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate aimed at all government contractors. Southwest, like many airlines, has contracts with the government and flies U.S. mail and federal employees, in addition to providing other services to the government.

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