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4.01.20 – APFA Supports the CARES Act

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

APFA Supports the CARES Act

Last week, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act). The bill contains protections for front-line workers as our nation deals with the crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the grant portion of the CARES Act was a major step forward in protecting jobs and paychecks, it does contain a provision that could potentially harm workers, our families, and our job security. Put simply, the bill contains language that could allow the government to obtain a stake in American Airlines in exchange for payroll grants that should flow to those that make the airline run- the front-line workers.

If we allow our government discretion in obtaining ownership in American, or any other airline or small business for that matter, that would undermine the incentive for companies to keep front-line workers on the payroll, which was the intent of the payroll grant portion of the stimulus package.

American Airlines Flight Attendants have been on the front lines of this pandemic conducting the important work of maintaining interstate commerce as well as transporting medical personnel and supplies. We have been assured that we would receive job and payroll protections when the airlines accept the payroll grant portion of the CARES Act, and we should not be second-guessing those assurances because of a last-minute partisan provision that was snuck into the bill.

We will make it clear to Secretary Mnuchin that we, as taxpayers, expect our grant money to flow solely to the front-line workers as intended, and that we are not interested in government ownership stakes in airlines and other businesses threatening our jobs. APFA will be at the forefront of this fight on Capitol Hill, along with our sisters and brothers in the industry.

This morning, I signed a letter along with Lyn Montgomery, President of TWU-556, representing Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants, and Sara Nelson, International President, AFA- CWA. The letter makes it clear to Secretary Mnuchin and other leaders that we are not interested in jeopardizing much-needed worker relief and protections in exchange for government ownership of American and other airlines. You may read this letter by clicking here.

It is time for APFA to have a front-row seat on Capitol Hill. During my campaign, I said that APFA would have a strong, resounding voice in Washington, D.C. Front-line workers’ jobs are on the line, the issues we are facing are real, and we need to address our government leaders with a unified voice across our industry. APFA can remain an independent Union while harnessing the collective power of partnering with other labor Unions. Today, Lyn, Sara, and I are standing together to ensure the government is perfectly clear on our position- we will not trade hard-fought worker payroll and job protections for government ownership in airlines.

I know a lot is coming at you quickly. I will continue to keep you updated as we work through these challenging times together. Your involvement and action will be essential as we move forward. Please stay tuned for more updates.

In Solidarity,

Julie Hedrick
APFA National President

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

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


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