CNBC's Jim Cramer asked: "There's a lawsuit that was filed by the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association in the Northern District of Texas. What is disturbing about it is earlier this year, they say that basically, you're using illegal tactics, a form of "asymmetrical warfare tactics," in negotiations... Wait for a second, maybe vaccines are an issue, maybe labor problems... so you understand how we quickly just pivot from Florida and FAA to wondering what happened here with the pilots?"
"There's absolutely no issue in working with our employees," Kelly replied. "Talking about the vaccine mandate, oh, yeah, there's some that have very strong views on both sides of that issue and it's not -- as I think you probably know, I've never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate. I'm not in favor of that, never have been."
"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 December 8, so we’re working through that. We're urging all of our employees to get vaccinated."
Related Video: Southwest Airlines Pilots Association Wants Clarity On The Details Of The Covid Vaccine Mandate
Kelly also told CNBC that thousands of flight delays and cancellations had "zero" to do with pilots protesting the vaccine mandate.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says he’s “never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate,” but defers to President Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate for federal workers. pic.twitter.com/82uw3IvKvB— The Recount (@therecount) October 12, 2021