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Get Informed About Vaccine Mandate

Fellow pilots,

Your union leadership has received numerous emails, phone calls, SoundOffs, and text messages imploring APA to take action regarding the vaccine mandate and asking why it hasn’t done so already. The great majority of these messages indicate that the sender is unaware of APA’s ongoing efforts on the membership’s behalf, and frequently compare APA with SWAPA, demanding that APA immediately file for a Temporary Restraining Order against the mandate (even though that is not what SWAPA has done).

To be clear, on Sept. 24, APA was the first to propose an alternate means of compliance to lawmakers and regulators to achieve the same level of safety as the mandate. We are continuing our lobbying efforts on this initiative, emphasizing that in the interest of preserving critical aviation infrastructure, the White House should permit the same alternatives to the vaccine that are expected to be allowed under the anticipated OSHA Emergency Rule covering companies with more than 100 employees. This would ensure the same level of safety while preventing the destabilization of our industry on the eve of the upcoming holiday season.

To date, APA has published the following information related to the vaccine mandate, which all can be found on AlliedPilots.org:

  • Sept. 24 – The Government Affairs Committee’s message in the APA News Digest: “APA Seeks Alternate Means of Compliance with Vaccine Mandate
  • Sept. 24 – An episode of APA’s “Five by Five” podcast addressing APA’s mission and duties related to vaccine concerns and our efforts to secure an alternate means of compliance
  • Sept. 29 – CA Dennis Tajer’s interview with ABC News, which was mentioned in the Oct. 1 edition of the APA News Digest
  • Sept. 30 – CA Tajer’s interview with CBS News, which was mentioned in the Oct. 1 edition of the APA News Digest
  • Oct. 1 – My interview with The Points Guy, which was mentioned in the Oct. 1 edition of the APA News Digest
  • Oct. 1 – My after-hours message to the membership regarding management announcing its intention to enforce a vaccine mandate
  • Oct. 6 – My after-hours message to the membership regarding management announcing a Nov. 24 deadline for vaccination
  • Oct. 7 – Another episode of “Five by Five” about how our negotiations with management regarding COVID-19 issues contrast with SWAPA’s stymied efforts to bargain with Southwest management on the same topic
  • Oct. 8 – The Aeromedical Committee’s message in the APA News Digest about their vaccine support hotline: 848-APA-CREW, option 9

The perception that your union is not actively fighting for the careers of every single pilot it represents is misinformed, and the source of much unnecessary anxiety among the membership. For everyone seeking to provide input or request additional information, please begin by availing yourself of the information that’s already available. This is a must in order for APA to effectively prosecute this effort.

If you are medically able as recommended by your personal doctor, and if permitted by your faith, I urge everyone to get vaccinated. LOA 21-002 provides several benefits in this area, some of which are currently only available through Nov. 1.

APA and management continue to meet and work through the many remaining unanswered questions stemming from the mandate and how it relates to your job covered by the CBA. Unlike the unfortunate situation at Southwest Airlines, American Airlines management continues to engage with APA on all things pandemic-related, including the vaccine mandate. The Company is bound by law to grant exemptions, where appropriate, under both the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and allow for reasonable accommodations for those who are exempt and cannot be vaccinated.

Finally, we must not allow ourselves to reduce our safety margins due to the many vaccine-related distractions we face. Please keep personal politics and medical opinions out of the flight deck and focus foremost on the well-being of your crew and the safety of our operation.

In Unity,

CA Eric Ferguson

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