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Update (1800ET): Southwest Airlines has had another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day – as a shortage of workers combined with an air traffic control interruption to bring the total number of canceled flights to nearly 3,100 in four days.

Crews were struggling to move and you end up in short order with aircraft and crews in the wrong spot,” said EVP Bob Jordan, adding “It’s really difficult to repair and put those things back together.”

Speculation over the actual cause of the cancellations has been rampant on social media – with some pilots refuting claims that they were staging a sickout over vaccination mandates, while COPO Mike Van de Ven told employees on Sunday night that it needs to build more of a “staffing cushion” to deal with unexpected disruptions.

According to Bloomberg, Southwest has hired just half of the 5,500 workers it plans to before year-end, according to CEO-designate Jordan.

The airline has set a Dec. 8 deadline for vaccinations, which the Pilots Union claim “imposes new conditions of employment” and threatens termination.

“What was a minor temporary event for other carriers devastated Southwest Airlines because our operation has become brittle and subject to massive failures under the slightest pressure,” said Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association. “Our pilots are tired and frustrated because our operation is running on empty due to a lack of support from the company.”

Murray denied that the cancellations were due to any sort of pilot protest.

“I can say with certainty that there are no work slowdowns or sickouts either related to the recent mandatory vaccine mandate or otherwise,” he said, adding that under federal law “our union is forbidden from taking job action to resolve labor disputes under these circumstances. SWAPA has not authorized, and will not condone, any job action.”

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Update (1220ET):

*SOUTHWEST COO: STILL SHORT ON WORKERS, ESPECIALLY FLIGHT CREWS

*SOUTHWEST COO COMMENTS ON CANCELLATIONS IN VIDEO FOR EMPLOYEES

*SOUTHWEST COO: `WE NEED MORE STAFFING CUSHION FOR DISRUPTIONS’

*SOUTHWEST COO: `CANNOT TELL YOU THAT WE ARE OUT OF THE WOODS’

*  *  *

As we noted on Sunday, Southwest airlines canceled nearly 2,000 flights over the weekend – blaming the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and inclement weather.

Oddly, no other major airlines had the same issues, while rumors swirled that airline employees had staged coordinated walk-outs (which their unions deny).

Continue: Zerohedge.com

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