Flight Attendants Call for Emergency Relief Now

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 1, 2020) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) International President Sara Nelson released the following statement on bipartisan Senate efforts to put in place a four month rescue package:

“Flight Attendants are trained to respond to an emergency. Get people out of harm’s way, then check for injuries and apply first aid. Without emergency relief, we won’t be able to save lives or heal. 

“We agree with President-Elect Biden that this is ‘just the start.’ This is not—and cannot be—the last COVID package. But American workers and the U.S. economy are teetering on the brink of disaster. We cannot afford weeks or months longer without federal rescue aid. 

“In March, Congress acted quickly to rush relief to the American people. Within a few days lawmakers approved relief with nearly unanimous bipartisan support. The vote was 96-0 in the Senate and 419-6 in the House. At the time, everyone hoped we’d be in a place of recovery by the fall but the situation has only gotten worse. Inaction now means millions more will go hungry, homeless, and suffer as the virus rages on and essential workers face increasingly unsafe conditions at work.

“The day after Christmas, 12 million workers will lose access to any unemployment benefits and as many as 40 million will be put at risk of eviction. Utilities will be cut off, student loan payments resume, coronavirus paid leave ends. Bread lines that already stretch miles will grow longer as the number unable to feed their families skyrockets. Cities and states will be forced to begin mass layoffs, while hospitals overflow. Public transportation will be crippled, and airlines will have neither the people, planes, nor routes in place to distribute a vaccine.

“This crisis is bigger than any previous economic crisis of the last hundred years combined. We need to act like it. But we are at the edge of the cliff right now. We need a rescue package in place yesterday to be strong enough to fight for the recovery working people truly deserve for keeping our country going even in times of crisis. We look forward to fighting for that full and corrective recovery. But we can’t do that if we don’t stop the bleeding now.

“We are working with lawmakers to ensure this emergency relief is enacted immediately and the provisions are focused on #WorkersFirst, returning aviation workers to our jobs, healthcare, and restoring critical infrastructure to fight the virus as quickly as possible. 

“Flight Attendants know every second counts in an emergency. It is the difference between life and death. Lawmakers need to act with this kind of urgency. It is their patriotic duty and the very least of their responsibility to the people they have the privilege to represent. Emergency #ReliefNow!”


The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, (AFA) AFL-CIO represents nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 17 airlines. AFA is the union that has advanced the Flight Attendant profession for 75 years, beating back discrimination and improving wages, benefits, working conditions, and aviation safety, health and security in the aircraft cabin. AFA also partners with the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.


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