July 19, 2022

Pro-Life Flight Attendant Awarded $5.1 Million After being Fired for Criticizing Union

Charlene Carter, who worked for Southwest Airlines for 21 years as a flight attendant, was awarded $5.1 million dollars by a federal jury. The award comes after she was fired in 2017 for criticizing how her union dues were used to support pro-abortion causes.

Carter joined the Transportation Workers Union of America (TWU) Local 556 union in 1996. She later resigned in 2013 when she learned that the union took pro-abortion political stances. She was still forced to pay union fees.

In 2017, Carter criticized the union and its president, Audrey Stone, for attending the Women's March in Washington DC to protest in favor of abortion. She spoke out on social media, calling for Stone to be voted out of her position as president of the union. She also sent messages to Stone signifying her intent to support a recall effort.

Southwest Airlines responded by calling Carter into a meeting. The company presented her social media posts and messages to the union leader; claiming that they constituted harassment. Carter was then fired.

The National Right to Work Foundation represented Carter pro-bono during her case against Southwest Airlines.

“No American worker should have to fear termination, intimidation, or any other reprisal merely for speaking out against having their own money spent, purportedly in their name, to promote an agenda they find abhorrent,” Mark Mix, president of National Right to Work Foundation, said in a statement. The National Right to Work Foundation represented Carter pro-bono. He added, “While we’re proud to stand with Ms. Carter and are pleased by the verdict, there ultimately should be no place in American labor law for compelling workers to fund a private organization that violates their core beliefs.”

Southwest Airlines has indicated that it plans to appeal the court's decision.