Flight worker forced into unpaid leave due to COVID vaccine mandate vows fight ‘isn’t over’ at L.A. rally

A ‘Defeat the Mandate’ rally in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon drew thousands of protesters and a group of speakers who shared their stories about the refusal to bow to COVID-19 Serum the states.

Among the many speakers was United Airlines Pilot Sherry Walker, who says she was forced to take unpaid leave and denied her 401(k) benefits for refusing to take the vaccine.

United Airlines did not respond to FOX Business.

People line up as they rally in Los Angeles to “defeat the Mandate” to protest vaccination mandates designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 outside Los Angeles City Hall on Sunday, April 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes/AP Newsroom)

Walker, with the help of two other people, led more than 2,000 United Airlines employees in a lawsuit against the company for “discrimination and retaliation against non-vaccinators and forcing them to take unpaid leave.”

Courts ruled in her favor in February, but Walker, through Airline Employees 4 Health Freedom (AE4HF), the organization she co-founded, is helping airline employees return to work. She said her case was not over yet.

“What you hear in the news that our case is over and that everyone lives happily ever after, is a lie,” she said. “The truth is that our case is moving forward.”

Walker said the FAA has a duty to protect the national airspace system.

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“And don’t think for a moment that it’s just one team. It happens with all the major airlines,” she said. “The vaccine for the wounded may be forgotten last year, but they are the heroes of this year. And this war is far from over.”

The company issued an internal memo late last month saying that more than 2,000 employees with an Approved Application for Reasonable Accommodation (RAP) will be able to return to their natural positions.

The all-day event featured a wide range of speakers from doctors, musicians, actors, journalists, law enforcement officials and students leading the fight so they could return to personal learning.

Large trucks from the “People’s Caravan”, inspired by Canadian truck drivers, were parked in nearby streets.

A few large trucks of the “People’s Caravan” were stopped in nearby streets as thousands of people marched to “defeat the Mandate” in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes/AP Newsroom)

The state of California battled the omicron variant coronavirus all winter long though cases have since fallen. Despite easing restrictions somewhat (compared to what they were at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic), state lawmakers are considering a series of laws that, among other things, would allow minors to be vaccinated without their parents’ consent.

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Another proposed law, Assembly Bill 1993, will require employees and independent contractors in the public and private sectors to receive the vaccine as a condition of employment. This bill was suspended last month amid a decline in COVID cases in the state.

COVID rates increased slightly last week, leading to fears of the spread of a new, more contagious variant of BA.2.

Los Angeles County and the city are requiring their workers, including firefighters, police and deputy mayors, to fully vaccinate or obtain medical or religious exemptions. Relatively few have faced disciplinary action.

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As of last month, about two dozen employees, including dozens of fire department workers and several police officers, have been fired for violating vaccine mandate rules. The city successfully fought Mandate lawsuits that were brought on behalf of firefighters and police department workers.

Daniela Genovese of Fox Business and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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