U.S. aviation unions ask Congress for another $32 billion bailout
Six U.S. aviation workers’ unions said an additional $ 32 billion in wage payments is needed to save hundreds of thousands of jobs. Resurgence of Coronavirus Cases Raises Fears Industry May Not Recover This Year.
The request, directed to the leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, came in connection with the fact that in July Congress is going to consider a new round of spending, which could exceed $ 1 trillion, to address the problems associated with coronavirus and support unemployed Americans..
Congress has already allocated $ 32 billion to the aviation sector this year to cover the six-month payroll through September 30, hoping that the plummeting coronavirus pandemic will recover by October..
At the same time, airline executives warn that recovery to 2019 levels may not occur earlier than two years, which will force companies to lay off employees in the fall if the payroll support program (PSP) is terminated..
«If the PSP grant program ends on October 1, massive layoffs are inevitable, airline executives admit», – said in a letter from union leaders.
The letter was signed by the Air Line Pilots Association, Flight Attendants Association-CWA, International Engineers and Aerospace Workers Association, Transport Workers’ Union, American Communications Specialists and AFL-CIO Transportation Department..
Major American airlines are offering layoff compensation packages to cut their workforce, and tens of thousands of employees have already quit..
The main lobbyist for the airline industry, Airlines for America, who was instrumental in negotiating the first stimulus package, said it is not currently seeking additional federal assistance..
Several airlines have moved this week to support their balance sheets in capital markets. American Airlines Raises $ 4.4 Billion Through Stock and Bond Placement.
But airline executives are increasingly worried about a potential second wave of COVID-19 following a recent spike in cases and hospitalizations in a number of U.S. states, an airline executive told Reuters..
«Everyone holds their breath for a couple of weeks to see what happens.», – he said.
According to experts, airlines play a critical role in any economic recovery and require qualified employees.
Peter DeFazio, which chairs the parliamentary committee on transport and infrastructure, told Reuters on Wednesday that Congress may need to consider additional assistance for airlines on Sept.30, including for social distancing on airplanes..
His comment came after the Pilots’ Association said it was discussing with lawmakers the government’s plan to pay airlines for vacant seats to provide more space between passengers..