Flight Attendants Applaud Bipartisan Majority Push for Extension of Payroll Support Program

WASHINGTON, DC (July 27, 2020) — Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President Sara Nelson, representing nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 19 airlines issued the following statement applauding 223 bipartisan members of Congress for calling for an extension of the CARES Act Payroll Support Program (PSP) through March 31, 2021.

"The CARES Act Aviation Payroll Support Program has been the most transparent, successful, cost-effective jobs program of coronavirus relief. It is an historic workers first program with hundreds of thousands of workers staying connected to our jobs, our paychecks, and our healthcare - while also capping executive compensation and banning stock buybacks and dividends. 

"This bipartisan letter makes clear that the House of Representatives is committed to extending this program in this relief package since the airline industry continues to struggle under the impact of COVID-19, with demand still only hovering around 20% of a year ago. Mass furloughs and layoffs will be a greater cost to the public and that's just not an option. Flight Attendants praise the leadership of Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Sharice Davids (D-KS), Karen Bass (D-CA) joined by John Katko (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rodney Davis (R-IL) and thank all 223 members of the House of Representatives for their support.

"The entire country needs relief in the midst of this crisis and we applaud members of the House for making it a priority to continue a program that's working, and keeps a vital industry intact with workers in place so that we are not slow to restart economic recovery. We call on Senate leaders to act with urgency on the COVID-19 relief package including this effective Workers First jobs program."

Additionally, leaders from more than 12 aviation unions issued the following joint statement: 

“We applaud Reps. Peter DeFazio, Brian Fitzpatrick, Rick Larsen, John Katko, Sharice Davids, Karen Bass, Rodney Davis, and 216 of their colleagues for recognizing the severity of the crisis we face and fighting for the health and welfare of America’s frontline aviation workforce.

“Airline industry employment, and the collective skill set and knowledge base held by aviation workers, cannot simply be put back together overnight. As airlines continue to struggle amid the COVID-19 crisis, and demand for air travel remains significantly below last year’s levels, an extension of the PSP jobs program is necessary to avoid massive layoffs in this industry. Without an extension of this program, tens of thousands of aviation workers could find themselves on the unemployment line this fall, causing potentially catastrophic consequences to this industry and our broader economy.

“By extending PSP grants, Congress has the power to ensure airline workers will continue to stay on payroll with benefits, prevent mass unemployment in October, and keep aviation workers ready to turn the industry around once this crisis is behind us.”

ALPA, APA, AFA-CWA, APFA, CWA, IAM, IBT, NATCA, NJASAP, PASS, SWAPA, TWU, and TTD collectively represent hundreds of thousands of aviation professionals, including aircraft cabin crews, ground crews, ticket and gate agents, aircraft cabin cleaners, pilots, and more.


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