National Executive Council and Local Leadership
November 4, 2021
SWA Vaccination Participation Pay Program
Dear AMFA-SWA Members:
Your Airline Representatives (ALRs) were in discussion with Southwest Airlines (SWA) yesterday regarding vaccination related issues and we wanted to inform you of an important update to the Company’s Vaccination Participation Pay Program, which now extends to those employees that submit a request for an accommodation before November 24, which is later approved by SWA. The Company provided the following explanation of the VPPP’s extended applicability:
Who is eligible for the Southwest Airlines Vaccination Participation Pay Program (VPPP)?
All Southwest Airlines (SWA) Employees who become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit proof of their vaccination status by noon Central on November 24, 2021, are eligible. This includes Employees on a leave of absence and Employees who submit a request for an accommodation before November 24 that is ultimately approved. Employees whose accommodation requests are approved after December 16 may receive their VPPP incentive of 16 hours payment after December 20, 2021. Employees who retire, leave the Company, or are terminated before the payment date of December 20, 2021, are not eligible. General questions about the vaccine requirement: Contact the SWA Employee Service Center Monday through Friday 7 a.m.to 7 p.m. CT by calling (877) 792-4792; press 6, then press 4 to speak with a Team Member.
Our primary focus remains to protect your collective bargaining agreements as well as your job and ability to earn. This message is directed to those of you who, for any reason, have not yet either been vaccinated or applied for an exemption/accommodation from mandatory vaccine policies at Southwest.
As you will recall, on October 21, 2021, AMFA published the Memo: COVID Vaccination Mandate where we stress the reality of the situation, which is there are two options only, either: 1) start the vaccination process or 2) apply for a medical or religious exemption by November 24, 2021. It is important for an employee who objects to vaccination based on medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs to apply for an exemption with SWA as they may be eligible for a reasonable accommodation that does not require vaccination. On October 8, 2021, we provided guidance via the Memo: Mandatory Vaccinations - Seeking a Religion-Based Accommodation for those who believe they may qualify for such a reasonable exemption.
There is no third option that will not risk your job or your income. The individual choice is up to you, but only if you do not wait too long for the uncertainty or the unknown situation..