Thursday, March 26, 2020
Senate Passes Major Bill – House to Vote Tomorrow
Stimulus Bill Puts Aviation Workers First
Over the past several weeks, we have witnessed an unprecedented decline for air travel, and it happened quicker and cut deeper than we could have ever imagined. When it became clear that the airlines would need government support to survive this crisis, APFA and unions across the industry banded together in support of federal aid, but with an assurance that Congress would not hand over a blank check that lacked worker protections.
This time, aviation workers from across the country and pro-labor fighters in Congress said it will be the workers who benefit from this taxpayer bailout.
The legislation means the billions of dollars in government support will NOT fund stock buybacks and executive compensation. Instead, aid relief will support saving our jobs and our paychecks. By granting federal aid to the airlines, lawmakers stipulated that airline workers cannot be furloughed through the end of September. These worker protections would not have been possible without strong input from labor.
The passage of the bill by a unanimous vote just before midnight marked a tangible victory for our members. Air carriers received a combination of direct cash support to save jobs and low-interest loans to rebuild. But it is important to remember that our work is not yet done. We have to make sure our company takes full advantage of the taxpayer support in a good faith manner as we move forward through these troubled times. Management knows that they would not have received this bailout without the support of organized labor.
Thousands of APFA members contacted their Senators and Representatives resulting in more than 23,000 letters and calls to Congress. The message was heard loud and clear and we should be proud. You made the difference, so thank you.
Speaker Pelosi indicated that the House is expected to vote on Friday and the President says that he will sign it immediately.
When workers unite, our power is great.
Text of Letter:
As your constituent, an APFA union member, and an American Airlines Flight Attendant, THANK YOU for ensuring that aviation workers are protected in the stimulus bill.
Our health and our livelihoods have been at stake. Flight Attendants cannot afford to go without a paycheck. This is precisely the reason why it is so critical that federal aid does NOT fund stock buybacks or executive compensation. Instead, thousands of American aviation workers can continue to provide for their families. Thank you for protecting my job and keeping me on payroll.
Our 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 our company afloat. These are trying times and, once again, we are on the frontlines, facing exposure to COVID-19 and suffering the frightening economic effects of the pandemic.
Please enact this bill immediately so that hardworking Flight Attendants like myself, airline employees, and our families get through this crisis and support the economic recovery of our nation.
APFA National Government Affairs Representative