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Anti-Mandate Pilot: Our 'Control Comes From a Simple Word...'No''

By Megan Williams | October 12, 2021 | 4:35pm EDT
Passengers deplane from a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif., Oct. 10, 2021. - Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 1,000 flights Sunday, part of a major weekend service disruption that the carrier attributed to weather and air traffic control issues. (Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
Passengers deplane from a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif., Oct. 10, 2021. - Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 1,000 flights Sunday, part of a major weekend service disruption that the carrier attributed to weather and air traffic control issues. (Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

A commercial airline pilot said that pilots "have all the control, and the control comes from a simple word and that’s 'no.'" on Monday's "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

Joshua Yoder discussed Southwest Airlines' mass cancellations over the weekend that were speculated to have occurred due to a staffing shortage after enforcing a company-wide vaccine mandate.

“If you have flights reduced by 30 percent because 30 percent of pilots are fired because they won’t take the vaccine, this is going to affect how your goods get here from overseas, how they’re distributed to the stores," Yoder told Carlson. "You know, the same thing is happening with the truckers, it's happening in the shipping industry. Those Amazon boxes that typically show up in two days, you might be looking at three weeks.”

Below is the transcript of this segment from "Tucker Carlson Tonight":

Tucker Carlson: “Pilots who have raised questions about these mandates have been, as noted, dismissed as criminals, terrorists. Tell us your motive in resisting this mandate.”

Joshua Yoder: “Tucker, thanks for having me on."

Carlson: "Of course."

Yoder: "Yes, my motive for resisting it is primarily religious, for myself. Basically, I saw -- among my friends, I saw a need. Many of us don’t want to take this; people were being coerced. I believe in freedom, and I’m here to support the freedom of my fellow employees and all people across this country. I’m not going to take a mandate, I’m not going to be coerced into doing something that I don’t believe in.” 

Carlson: “So there are two levels in which to assess this. One is the level that you just described: the level that preserves American society as we’ve known it for 250 years with freedom at its core because if they can make airline pilots do this, they can make airline travelers do this, and there’s no end to what they can make you do. 

“But describe, if you would, since you work in the business, what the effect on our national transportation infrastructure is about to be because of these mandates.”

Yoder: “Well, as we know, the transportation sector is the heart and soul of this country and it’s a very delicate system. If there’s a disruption in one part of the system, it has a catastrophic effect among the rest of the system, which is going to affect commerce, it’s going to affect trade, and ultimately it's going to affect the economy. 

“If you have flights reduced by 30 percent because 30 percent of pilots are fired because they won’t take the vaccine, this is going to affect how your goods get here from overseas, how they’re distributed to the stores. You know, the same thing is happening with the truckers, it's happening in the shipping industry. Those Amazon boxes that typically show up in two days, you might be looking at three weeks.”

Carlson: “So, I mean, it turns out that people with essential skills like airline mechanics, air traffic controllers, and yes, commercial airline pilots have more power maybe than they realize. You’ve got to wonder, if people are being pushed to the point where they’re going to be fired, how many more of these sick-outs, job actions, strikes, whatever you’re going to call what we saw this weekend, how many more of these do you think we’re likely to see?”

Yoder: “Well, first of all, we have all the control, and the control comes from a simple word and that’s 'no.' We just don’t need to comply. As far as I’m concerned, I will never support a sick-out or a work action; that is illegal. With U.S. Freedom Flyers, the organization that I’m with, we would never promote such a thing. With that being said, we also cannot control the actions of individuals, and I think that you will see massive disruptions in supply chain and in your travel if we just stand up and say, ‘no.’

“If these companies fire us and they fire 30 percent of the workforce, aircrafts are going to stop moving and it’s going to affect you. It’s going to affect your air travel and it’s going to affect the economy.”

Carlson: “Joe Biden will say this is your fault. Finally, how do you respond to that? He’ll blame you for this.”

Yoder: “It’s his fault, it’s squarely his fault. I think anyone with a critical mind can point towards the federal government and the companies that are enforcing these illegal mandates from the federal government, and see that it’s the federal government’s fault.”

Megan Williams is a CNSNews intern and junior at Hillsdale College. She is majoring in Rhetoric and Public Address with a Journalism minor. She is the assistant opinions editor for the Hillsdale Collegian and enjoys covering local events, from concerts to conventions. Born and raised in Southern California, Megan is excited to experience D.C. and grow as a journalist with CNSNews.

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