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A union official’s opinion of blacklisting: “I am all about targeted assassinations.”

Southwest Airlines: Enemy to free speech

Today’s blacklisting story is a further update in connection with the victory by former Southwest Airline flight attendant Charlene Carter, who was fired by the airline for having opinions neither the airline nor her union liked.

Carter sued, and was awarded by a jury $4.15 million from Southwest and $950,000 from Local 556 of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) for what the jury deemed an unjust firing.

As I noted at the link,

Carter had sent blunt Facebook messages to Audrey Stone, the head of the union, criticizing its pro-abortion stance and its apparent use of union funds to send flight attendants to a 2017 pro-abortion protest in Washington, D.C. Southwest decided expressing such opinions was unacceptable and fired her. The union agreed, doing nothing to support her as it is supposed to do.

Both Southwest and the union are appealing this jury decision, and that’s where this update comes in. A Texas news outlet has apparently obtained copies of emails used as evidence during the trial that were sent by TWU official Brian Talburt to one Southwest manager as well as his boss, union head Audrey Stone, discussing the actions the union and Southwest should take together against several non-union Southwest employees.

“I am all about targeted assassinations,” he stated, referring to using Facebook and social media as a way to attack the reputations of the non-union employees.

“Cancer is a dangerous thing and must b [sic] eradicated when ever [sic] possible or it spreads,” he wrote. “You cannot contain it, it needs to be eliminated. I would highly encourage targeting people and a one day detective with a video camera is a very cheap investment.” [emphasis mine]

Though Talburt was not discussing any action against Charlene Carter, and while he also in a subsequent email claimed that his use of the word “assassinations” was merely a “metaphor,” this and other correspondence between the union and Southwest was apparently used during her lawsuit to demonstrate the toxic work environment that she and other non-union employees were subjected to at Southwest. Apparently, the jury found this and other evidence compelling, which is why it unanimously decided in Carter’s favor.

Whether this evidence will be considered during appeal is unclear. Judges tend to look at appeals not from the perspective of evidence but from the perspective of legal interpretation. It might be the union and company could win on appeal, even though both clearly contemplated taking possibly illegal actions against non-union employees.

It is important however to reread the words of Brian Talburt. Here is a union rep literally advocating that Southwest gather damaging information against specific employees in order to force them out. Worse, it appears that Southwest’s manager, Sonya Lacore, had no objections at all to this approach.

These emails show starkly how our modern blacklist culture has now evolved. The idea of blackballing people has how become so routine that it is now acceptable for managers in corporations to nonchalantly discuss illicit methods in order to blackmail dissident employees.

It isn’t the blackmailing however that is horrifying. It is the lack of opposition or outrage from others when such ideas are proposed.

Be very afraid. If such things are now acceptable, much worse things will soon become acceptable as well.

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  • Col Beausabre

    ” Here is a union rep literally advocating that Southwest gather damaging information against specific employees in order to force them out.” Isn;t that what “union busting” firms are supposed to do…Can you say “ironic”, kiddies

  • Concerned

    Speaking of cancel culture, I thought Southwest was one of the few non-woke airlines remaining who I prefer to give my business. I may have to seriously revisit that decision.

  • Concerned: Southwest was the first airline to impose a mask mandate, and thus helped make that mandate happen. It lost my business forever at that point.

  • “I am all about targeted assassinations,”

    Huh. You’re not the only one..

  • Cotour


    * On one end of the spectrum, we have the likes of BLM and other radical organizations, “Champions of the downtrodden and the oppressed”, who were founded based on and who rail against the abuses of governmental power primarily against minorities by local police around the country in the communities that they primarily inhabit.

    * And on the extreme other end of the spectrum, we have the primarily lily-white powers that be who fight their political causes in the highest court rooms and that of the of the Supreme Court. And their concerns? The abuses of power at the highest levels of government as those in power using the several government agencies of investigation, law enforcement and prosecution in the form of the DOJ and the FBI as political weapons.

    * And in the meaty middle watching this dramatic episode in the American experience and evolution playing out before our eyes? You and I.

    The takeaway? What have we learned? Government, all government, the American government and any form of government throughout history in all of its permutation’s its tendency is to abuse its power. PERIOD! It is the nature of the beast.

    And the only possible long-term solution? The American Constitution and reconnecting with it and not rejecting it and looking for some “Better” offsite solution imagined by some more “Compassionate” elite Liberal / Leftist thinker to this universal historical tendency of government related to the abuse of power.

    The ONLY counterbalance to the abuse of power over time is the American Constitution. No matter what anyone attempts to tell you.

    I just found this observation interesting and thought you might also find it interesting.

  • Cotour


    This latest permanent government / status quo / Democrat party machine V Trump home raid is about but one thing.

    What is that one thing?

    The desperate Democrat party machine is in the process attempting to technically and at some level legally justify that the many states (D) of the United States have a basis for denying Trump a spot on the 2024 presidential election ballot in their state.

    And that boiled down is what these cancerous efforts are now about: From the “Steele Dossier”, to the Mueller investigation and “Russian Collusion”, to Major Vindman and the Ukraine phone call, to the impeachments etc. All of it has been and is now focused on but that one thing, technically and legally disqualifying Trump from running for president in 2024. All to no avail IMO.

    And now in their existential political terror and desperation what are the now radical Democrats and their deep state enforcers actually ensuring?


    The blatant abuse of political power has its own rewards. (Trump needs to double his security)

  • pzatchok

    People get the government they want.

    You just need to make them want it.

  • pzatchok

    If I was in this union I would publicly call for a leadership vote. A recall vote. A vote of no confidence. Remove any and all leaderships for all previously voted for members.

    After that I would elect a whole new leadership and call for a new contract with the airline. A HUGE new contract. A contract that brings in ALL no union employees and hurts the company so much that they will have to remove their own leadership and replace them.

    This could set a whole new president for the fading unions in the USA. The republicans could gain almost all of their support except for the government unions.

  • Cotour

    The only thing that government can do is incentivize or disincentivize.

    Biden administration abolishes ICE labor union

    87,000 New IRS Agents Will Join Union That Gives 100% Of PAC Funds To Democrats

    Do you see where this is going?

  • Cotour


    Alan Dershowitz:


    There are two different sets of laws for Republicans and Democrats, plain and simple and that is how they plan to play this game, this political warfare as long as they can. And the ultimate purpose?

    You have to come to the conclusion to literally destroy the Constitution and the foundation of the country in order to get it under the Lefts absolute control.

    That is the only conclusion.

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