3.19.20 – CALL TO ACTION – Congress Assesses Government Aid Package to Airline Industry

Thursday, March 19, 2019

CALL TO ACTION – Congress Assesses Government Aid Package to Airline Industry

Last night, the Senate passed its first federal aid bill to provide sick leave, jobless benefits, and free coronavirus testing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has seared the American economy. Now Congress will turn its attention to an airline-specific aid package. The general consensus is that our nation’s air carriers will receive at least $58 billion in the coming days in the form of grants, loans, and tax relief. There is an urgency to get this done, however, APFA and other unions contend that any aid the airlines accept must go toward helping the frontline aviation workers who power the airlines. Pro-Labor fighters, including Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, are insisting that any bailout money appropriated be targeted toward workers and operations first and that no funds be used for stock buybacks or executive compensation. Unions are staying united to ensure that any monetary support reaches the hardworking employees of aviation who have suddenly been thrust into health, financial, and job insecurity. Government aid must include:

  • A requirement that any direct assistance be tied to keeping frontline workers employed and that benefits are shared with employees;
  • A prohibition on subsequent stock buybacks, increased executive compensation, and other non-workforce expenses; and
  • Preventing any company that accepts financial assistance from rejecting or abrogating collectively bargained agreements during any bankruptcy proceeding for 5 years following the last payment of such assistance.

 

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You can also dial the Capitol Switchboard directly at 202-224-3121

Now more than ever, all APFA members must speak with one voice and we are asking you to contact your Senators and members of Congress immediately and until we pass this crucial airline aid package. If you have personal connections with legislators, now is the time to reach out. We have sacrificed for our airline before and here we are sacrificing again. Now we must urge our representatives in Washington to ensure that any aid that the airlines receive also reaches aviation workers.

These are trying times but we are all in this together. Once again, Flight Attendants are on the frontlines, facing exposure to COVID-19 and suffering the economic effects of the pandemic. We are fighting for you.


Text of letter:

Hello Representative/Senator _________,

I am your constituent, an APFA union member, and an American Airlines Flight Attendant. The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the aviation industry through a rapid collapse of demand that has resulted in a severe reduction of flights, both internationally and domestically. While the American Airlines pilots received some extended voluntary leave offers that included approximately 60% partial pay, the American Airlines Flight Attendants were only offered extended voluntary leaves that included NO pay. This gross disparity indicates that management neither values the roles we play nor understands the challenges we are facing every time we fly.

Passengers are asked to self-quarantine after a flight for 14 days, yet crewmembers are curiously exempt. Our livelihoods, and in some cases our lives, are at risk. We are adamant that any bailout money appropriated for the airline industry be targeted first toward workers and operations and that no funds be used for stock buybacks or executive compensation. Any monetary support MUST reach the hardworking employees of aviation who have been suddenly thrust into financial and health insecurity.

Please insist that any government aid package include:

  • A requirement that any direct assistance be tied to keeping frontline workers employed and sharing the benefits with employees;
  • A prohibition on subsequent stock buybacks, increased executive compensation, and other non-workforce expenses; and
  • Preventing any company that accepts financial assistance from rejecting or abrogating collectively bargained agreements during any bankruptcy proceeding for 5 years following the last payment of such assistance.

 

We Flight Attendants have stuck with American Airlines in good times and bad, through 9/11 and bankruptcies. In the past, we have sacrificed repeatedly to keep this company afloat and here we are sacrificing again. These are trying times and, once again, Flight Attendants are on the frontlines, facing exposure to COVID-19 and suffering the frightening economic effects of the pandemic. We ask that you please ensure that any government assistance to the airline industry is directed toward helping hardworking Flight Attendants, other airline employees, and the families that we support as we weather this storm.

In Unity,

Allie Malis
APFA National Government Affairs Representative
legislation@apfa.org

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077

 

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