US AVIATION UNIONS SEEK ANOTHER $32-B BAILOUT FROM CONGRESS

Six US unions representing aviation workers told top lawmakers on Thursday that another $32 billion in payroll aid is needed to keep hundreds of thousands of workers employed through March 31, arguing that a surge in coronavirus cases raises fears that air travel may not rebound this year.


The request, made in a letter to leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, comes as Congress in July is set to consider a new round of spending that could top $1 trillion to address coronavirus-related issues and the impact on jobless Americans, Tracy Rucinski and David Shepardson wrote for Reuters on June 26, 2020.

Under the CARES Act passed earlier this year, Congress gave the aviation sector $32 billion to cover six months of payroll through Sept. 30, hoping that a sharp drop in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic would subside by October. But executives have since warned that a recovery to 2019 travel levels could still be two years away, forcing the need to lay off employees in the fall without an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP.)

“Should October 1 arrive without extending the PSP grant job program mass layoffs are inevitable, as airline executives have acknowledged,” union leaders said in the letter. The letter was signed by the Air Line Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Transport Workers Union, the Communications Workers of America and the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

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