With Hours to Furlough Cliff, Flight Attendants Demand #ReliefNow

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 30, 2020 at 7:45pm ET) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO President Sara Nelson released the following statement after airlines confirmed furloughs are moving forward as the CARES Act Payroll Support Program expires at midnight, with some hope remaining as talks continue and airlines confirm possible reversal if agreement is reached within days:

“It shouldn’t be this hard to do the right thing.

"Tomorrow, tens of thousands of essential aviation workers will wake up without a job or healthcare and tens of thousands more will be without a paycheck. They don’t know how they will pay rent, feed their families, or cover the cost of their prescriptions or medical care. It did not have to be this way.

“Flight Attendants have been on the frontlines of the COVID crisis since the earliest days. We have done our part to keep our economy and our country running through the pandemic. We won broad, bipartisan support for a clean extension of the Payroll Support Program, a proven #WorkersFirst jobs and infrastructure program. Never has there been such wide-spread agreement, from fiscal conservatives to progressives in every single state. But Congress has failed to act in time to avoid this furlough cliff.

"But there is some hope. It seems Washington just woke up to this deadline. There is now real momentum to negotiate a COVID relief bill, including an extension of our Payroll Support Program. Airline management have stated they would reverse the furloughs if this is achieved within days. There is no time for nonsense. Time is up. #ReliefNow.

"Without an extension of this successful jobs program, there is no backstop for layoffs. Job loss will increase exponentially. Inaction is not an option. #ReliefNow for the whole country. 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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