Furlough Day 5: Flight Attendants Call for Urgent Relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 5, 2020) — Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President Sara Nelson released the following statement encouraging Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin in their efforts to reach an agreement on COVID relief for the country: 

"We are encouraged by continuing talks between Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin on an overall COVID relief bill. Additionally, the Speaker's commitment to aviation workers is strong.

"Over 100,000 aviation workers woke up without work on October 1, 2020: 45,000 were furloughed and tens of thousands more went on ‘unpaid leave’ when the Payroll Support Program expired. There is no longer a backstop for aviation job loss; there will likely be more. The October 1 furloughs were not a notice. People woke up Thursday morning without jobs, without paychecks, and without healthcare. They are filing for unemployment as we speak — but we have a chance to reverse course if Congress acts quickly.

"Friday's jobs report and the White House COVID outbreak should be a blaring siren to Congress and the administration: COVID is an ongoing threat to our health and our economy. It is good that the President and White House staff are getting excellent medical care, but right now the essential frontline aviation workers and millions more Americans do not have access to the same care unless Congress acts. 

“Every day of inaction is more lives lost and an exponentially higher cost of recovery. Real people are hurting right now and it is both cruel and irresponsible to keep people in a constant state of uncertainty.

"Flight Attendants need relief. Aviation workers need relief. Americans need relief. Inaction is not an option. Get it done."


The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, (AFA) AFL-CIO represents nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 19 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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