Self-inflicted wounds causing transportation and supply chain woes to cascade, crippling travel and commerce

Another airline has experienced massive disruption, inconveniencing and alienating customers, as staffing shortages create havoc. The UK Daily Mail reports:

American Airlines has continued its streak cancellation over Halloween weekend as a quarter of its scheduled flights - more than 800 of them - were cancelled on Sunday.

The airline has blamed weather control issues, such as strong winds that battered its Dallas hub earlier this weekend, and ongoing staff shortages due to lay-offs made when travel cratered at the start of the COVID outbreak.

In total, more than 1,500 flights have been axed by the airline since Friday with 738 delays and 342 cancellations, according to FlightAware.

file photo

While establishment outlets like Reuters studiously avoid any mention of vaccine mandates as a factor in the staffing issues, some companies in transportation, as well as other industries, are not so shy. Politico reports:

Objections among certain vendors over President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors are reaching an inflection point. As the deadline for workforce vaccination approaches, some trucking companies are mulling whether to end their work with the federal government altogether, according to two industry insiders.

With labor force participation rates down, in part due to tax-free payments to people to stay home, and with millions of job vacancies, hiring adequate staff levels is a challenge in many industries. But airlines can be particularly badly hit when inclement weather arises in a hub because delays in one place tend to cascade across the system. People and airplanes don’t arrive where they are supposed to be, causing flights elsewhere to be canceled. Moreover, the end of the month over the past weekend meant that some workers had reached their monthly limit in working hours and were unavailable.

The problems American experienced, like those its Dallas neighbor Southwest Airlines experienced earlier, reveal how easily tightly integrated systems are disrupted by staffing shortages. It is the same basic problem as with the port backups that are crippling our supply chains, leading to factory shutdowns and empty shelves. The hardcore of vaccine resisters is numerous enough in many industries, in a time of labor market tightness, to cause enormous disruption. Sundance of CTH cites an NBC News poll released yesterday showing that “the number of unvaccinated workers is essentially unwavering in the past six weeks {poll data},” and reminds us: “the number of Americans who willingly quit their jobs increased to 4.3 million in August.”

The total of people who vow never to be vaccinated is 17 percent, and those who will only take the shot if forced adds another 10 percent. These “hard no’s” are a big enough chunk of the workforce to wreak havoc on many industries.

The fact that vaccination now is recognized as merely reducing the severity of delta variant Covid and not contracting the virus or spreading it to others completely destroys the rationale for requiring it. If you can still get the vid and still can spread it to others, then it becomes a purely personal choice. Moreover, despite the reluctance of the medical establishment to recognize it, early treatment of Covid with ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, or monoclonal antibodies also alleviates the severity of the sickness once contracted.

Photo credit: Quintin Soloviev CC BY-SA 4.0 license

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