A Southwest Airlines ex-flight attendant sued the airline and its union because it wouldn’t let her express her pro-life views according to a Tuesday press release.
Charlene Carter sued her ex-employer and union officials on Sept. 14, alleging that she was fired from her job for vocalizing her views on abortion and expressing opposition to union leadership.
The airline retaliated against Carter for exercising her First and Fifth Amendment rights, according to the Tuesday press release from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRWL) Communications Manager. The suit also objects to the airline union’s compelling Carter to continue paying fees despite her exit from the union in 2013.
After finding out that the union’s president and other officials had allocated union dues to attend the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., Carter posted on Facebook and sent an email to President Stone explaining that she was upset her money was going towards a cause she objects to. Six days after sending Stone her email, Southwest managers requested Carter attend a mandatory meeting and she was fired a week later. Southwest said Carter violated its social media policy by sharing her “highly offensive” pro-life beliefs.
“This case shows the extent to which union officials will wield their power over employers to violate the rights’ of the workers they claim to represent,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation.
“Charlene Carter did nothing wrong. She merely voiced her opinion and opposition to her money being used for causes she opposes, expressing her protected religious beliefs,” Mix said. “Southwest and TWUA union officials need to be held accountable for violating Charlene’s rights and the National Right to Work Foundation is pleased to help her stand up to this campaign of harassment,” he added.
Carter had never been disciplined previously in her 20 year career with Southwest.
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