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Airline Labor Unions Call on Congress for Continued Relief

By Admin

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Majority Leader
United States Senate
S-221, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Peter DeFazio
Chairman, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
United States House of Representatives
2165 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Maria Cantwell
Chair, Commerce Committee
United States Senate
512 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Maxine Waters
Chairwoman, Financial Services Committee
United States House of Representatives
2129 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Chairman DeFazio, Chair Cantwell, and Chairwoman Waters:

On behalf of labor unions representing hundreds of thousands of aviation workers, we request that Congress provide continued relief through the Payroll Support Program (PSP), which has been a successful, transparent, cost effective, job-saving program and a key lifeline for workers over the course of the pandemic.

Specifically, we respectfully request that Congress provide $15 billion to extend the program, and ask that the furlough protections that have ensured this program’s success be extended until September 30th or until the funds are exhausted, whichever date is later. Without these actions, wide-scale layoffs in the industry will begin as early as March 31st.

We also call for the continuance of other critical and successful provisions of PSP, including the prohibition on reductions in rate of pay, continued service to our communities, an extension of the cap on executive compensation and the ban on stock buybacks and dividends. Together, these requirements make up a program that works for aviation employees, the industry, and the nation as a whole.

To date, PSP and its exclusive usage for payroll purposes has provided critical support to hundreds of thousands of aviation workers, ensuring that they remain employed and connected to critical benefits like health insurance, social security contributions, and contractual or company retirement at a time when air travel has been decimated and revenues have plunged due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Tragically, the pandemic and its deleterious economic effects have continued largely unabated. There is no doubt an aggressive public vaccination campaign and strict public health precautions will ultimately restore confidence in air travel and revitalize our economy. The time and actions required to achieve this goal – including travel restrictions – will continue to strain aviation commerce. By extending PSP during these continued difficulties, Congress can ensure that the aviation industry remains sound, including the infrastructure and personnel required for vaccine distribution. And it can guarantee that we avoid the devastating disruption of furloughs, unpaid leave, and severe cost-cuts put in place during the previous lapse in federal payroll support. We need stability and certainty now so workers know how they will provide for themselves and their families.

Congress’ support for PSP, thanks in no small part to your decisive leadership, has averted catastrophic job losses in the aviation industry, and helped keep the industry and its workforce prepared to help lead our country out of this economic crisis. Recovery is in view; we just need to finish the job. This highly successful program should be extended alongside other economic relief for American workers. With vaccination in its early stages, this is a critical moment for the country and the industry. The continuation of PSP will ensure that we emerge from the pandemic in the strongest possible position and ready to get America moving.


Air Line Pilots Association, International

Association of Flight Attendants, CWA

Communications Workers of America

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

Transport Workers Union of America

UNITE HERE International Union


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