Monday, June 29, 2020
Tell Congress: Extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program
Dear Flight Attendants, Friends and Family,
Over the last four months, Flight Attendants and our industry have faced an unprecedented crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our fast mobilization in March led to passage of the CARES Act, including the aviation Payroll Support Program (PSP) to stave off involuntary furlough and “for the continuation of employee wages, salaries, and benefits” affecting 2.1 million workers across aviation. This critical legislation has kept our industry intact, Flight Attendants and other workers connected to our healthcare, and continued service to all of our communities.
The virus continues to be a threat to our health, jobs, and industry. Domestic demand for air travel is not expected to return until well into 2021. Passenger travel is still only about 20% of what it was last year, while international travel is currently restricted and predicted to take years to recover. Without an extension of the Payroll Support Program there will be hundreds of thousands of aviation workers who lose our jobs on October 1.
We are calling for a six month aviation Payroll Support Program extension through March 31, 2021, to protect our jobs, extend the restrictions on stock buybacks, dividends, and executive compensation, and maintain service to all of our communities. All of aviation labor is standing together to call on Congress to pass a clean extension of the Payroll Support Program before the summer recess at the end of July. Waiting until September for this action is too late because October planning will be done and hundreds of thousands of workers will already be told they are out of work. We need urgent action on this now. > TAKE ACTION TODAY
Some in management are attempting to use the threat of job loss to call for concessions from us. But the problem is demand, not labor costs. There is no amount of concessions that will save jobs. The only way to save jobs is to lock in protections against involuntary furloughs with an extension of the CARES Act Payroll Support Program. COVID-19 relief has been extended in other sectors and more relief is necessary to stave off a depression with millions of evictions and other financial devastation. Extending our aviation relief is an important part of the package Congress must get in place before the end of July to avoid massive layoffs and much greater harm to tens of millions of people across the country.
Tell Congress to keep our industry intact to ensure aviation can help fight the virus and contribute to economic recovery as opposed to adding to an economic depression. > TAKE ACTION TODAY
Julie, Sara, and Lyn
Julie Hedrick, Association of Professional Flight Attendants National President
Sara Nelson, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President
Lyn Montgomery, Transport Workers Union Local President 556 Representing Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants