Messages released as part of a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines has revealed that union officials representing Southwest Airlines’ employees and activists ridiculed, attacked and even targeted — for what they dubbed social media “assassinations” — any union member who disagreed with the group’s left-wing political activism.
The damning messages were exchanged between Southwest Airlines and the Transportation Workers Union of America (TWU) Local 556 union officials and activists. They were revealed during a lawsuit brought by pro-life flight attendant Charlene Carter, a 20-year veteran, who was fired by Southwest Airlines for her religious beliefs. A jury awarded Carter a whopping $5.1 million — $4.15 million from Southwest and $950,000 from the TWU Local 556 union.
Carter complained in 2013 that deductions from her paycheck were going towards left-leaning organizations. In response, several officials from the union privately made fun of her, exchanging messages between themselves.
Union treasurer John Parrot began by forwarding Carter’s email to other officials.
“Ha! She has been supporting the thing she despises this entire time…,” he wrote.
Todd Gage, a union vice president, joined in the mockery.
“I wish I could give her a list of all the campaigns she has donated to in the last 17 years! Her head would explode,” he wrote.
Local 556’s second vice president, Brett Nevarez, chimed in, “so typical bat****/dip**** cannot read her paycheck!”
Union officials, including its president, Audrey Stone, attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., in 2017. The event received, and continues to receive, funding from Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country. Stone was attached to the email chain, but did not directly state any admonishments.
However, Carter wasn’t alone in being attacked for disagreeing with the policies of the union. Any union members who didn’t keep in line were “targeted” for “assassination” on social media.
“I am all about targeted assassinations,” an email from union activist Brian Talburt reads, discussing social media dissidents. The message was sent to Southwest’s then-senior director in inflight services Sonya Lacore, and then forwarded to Stone by Talburt.
“It IS maddening trying to reason with these sheeple,” Talburt said, comparing at least one other critic to “cancer.”
Talburt also called Corliss King, a black woman who later became a Local 556 executive board member, “incredibly dangerous.”
“I am sure with her dreadful work history, there could be opportunity,” he said of King. “She will play VERY well to the heavy inner city, minority crowd coming on board soon. She will be their voice. She will be a huge threat in our upcoming election as well.”
Further, union critic Mike Casper was called a “cancer” that must be “eradicated.”
“I highly encourage targeting people,” Talburt wrote.
In spite of the messages, both Southwest Airlines and TWU union officials intend to appeal, and National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix promised to “keep fighting” for Carter and those who’ve “experienced similar hostility.”
“Ms. Carter demonstrated that, even in an overwhelmingly toxic environment, independent-minded workers can stand up, push back against union boss attacks on individual rights and free speech, and win,” Mix said in a statement to The Daily Wire. “The evidence presented at Carter’s trial reveals an ingrained union culture of intimidation and prejudice against dissident workers. While we will keep fighting to defend Ms. Carter’s victory for her rights, flight attendants or other employees who have experienced similar hostility should not hesitate to contact the National Right to Work Foundation for help in defending their rights.”
“Federal law governing labor relations in the air and rail industries allows union officials to demand workers fund their activities as a condition of employment,” Mix added. “TWU union officials’ attacks on employees who disagree with the union’s agenda are the unsurprising result of a system in which workers do not have even the simple power to withhold dues when union officials violate their rights – an accountability mechanism Right to Work protects.”
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