Flight Attendant Tastes Sweet Victory After Being Fired Over Her Political Views

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

A Southwest Airlines flight attendant is basking in victory after being awarded $5.3 million by a US District Court in Texas.

Charlene Carter was fired in 2017 after she sent an angry letter to her union boss pointing out that member dues had been used to send over a dozen other flight attendants to that year’s Women’s March, a rabidly leftwing, pro-abortion event. Carter, being a devout Christian, did not appreciate her money being used to promote something she vehemently disagreed with, and she was fired for speaking out against the union leadership.


Half a decade after first being terminated for her pro-life views, she’s been awarded $4.15 million from Southwest Airlines and an additional $1.15 million from her former union.

The jury in the U.S. District Court case found that the Dallas-based airline and the flight attendants’ union, Transport Workers Union Local 556, violated her rights as a worker to advocate against her union. The jury said Southwest Airlines should pay $4.15 million in back pay, pain and suffering and other costs and that the union should pay her another $1.15 million.

Charlene Carter was fired in March 2017 after she sent a series of confrontational emails to TWU Local 556 President Audrey Stone, calling her “despicable” for attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., earlier that year, according to the lawsuit.

The first question I had when I saw this report was why this union would be sending anyone to the Women’s March in the first place? What does that have to do with being a flight attendant, and why even open yourself up to internal division over the matter? The more corporations get involved in politics, the more they isolate their customer base, and in this case, their employee base. It’s really not that difficult to just focus on the company’s actual mission.

As to Southwest Airlines specifically, has any major corporation burned its reputation to the ground more over the last few years? Once known as the “fun” airline that was “different,” Southwest is now put in the same category as all the rest, and deservedly so. They never should have gone along with the union boss’ retaliation ploy that ultimately led to the termination of Carter.


To summarize, corporations that refuse to stay in their lane and decide to get political are going to face more and more pushback as time goes on. Carter would have never lodged her complaint had the union just stayed neutral on such a sensitive issue. When they didn’t, she had the right to oppose her leadership. Now, their rash decision to fire her has cost the company and the union millions. My response? Good.


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