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30,000 Will Lose their Jobs because of Trump

Inaction on an airline relief bill means 30k will lose their jobs October 1

Brian Young's picture
Sep 18, 2020

Airline unions and executives are making a last-ditch effort to get the federal government to pass a stimulus package that would prevent 30,000 layoffs. The $25 billion proposal has been floating around Congress since March when the CARES Act was passed with lawmakers taking a wait and see approach on how bad the situation would be at the end of September.

If the Senate does not take up the bill, airlines will be forced to lay off 30,000 workers starting October 1. Many of the workers have already been notified of the layoffs so many are expected to lose their jobs in just 12 days. September 30th is when aid from the original stimulus bill runs out and a requirement that prevents layoffs ends.

“The Payroll Support Program (PSP) protected workers from involuntary furloughs, and kept us connected to healthcare and other benefits,” said AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson. “It also prevented bad corporate behavior: no buybacks; no executive raises or bonuses; no paying out for Wall Street investors; no cutting service to small markets to save money. And it worked, delivering critical aid more efficiently and at a far lower cost than any other job programs included in earlier relief packages. And as essential workers, we kept vital aviation service running to every community.”

The $25 billion stimulus plan would provide the funding needed to save the 30,000 jobs through March of 2021. The plan has bipartisan support, with 16 Republican senators and over 200 House members announcing their support for the bill in August. Democrats are also supporting the plan as part of a larger stimulus plan. Trump has also indicated that he would like to see the funding move forward, yet he has failed to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the deficit hawks in the Republican caucus to support the bill. Instead, McConnell wants to pass a so-called “skinny bill” that fails to provide relief for the airline industry.

Further complicating matters, the federal budget is slated to also run out on September 30th, meaning that Congress also needs to reach a funding deal with the White House to avoid a government shutdown.

“I have been a union negotiator for more than 20 years,” said Nelson. “I know a deal can come together in hours, even in the deepest stalemate. And I also know – because we are talking to members across Congress – there is an agreement that only requires leadership to make. We saw how quickly Washington can move at the end of the 2019 shutdown when a deal was reached within a few hours of air traffic stopping at a handful of airports. There is a deal to be made. No more delays. Make it. Pass relief now.”

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