Aviation workers’ unions ask Congress for another $32 billion in payroll aid amid COVID-19 resurgence

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Half a dozen labor unions representing the country’s aviation workers penned a letter to top congressional lawmakers on Thursday, asking them for another $32 billion in federal aid.

The call for help comes as the aviation industry struggles to pull out of its economic nosedive that was caused by stay-at-home orders and travel advisories to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the CARES Act, lawmakers already gave the industry $32 billion to cover payroll through Sept. 30 with the hope that Americans would begin to feel comfortable flying again by the early fall.

However, with concerns of a second wave of the pandemic on the horizon, the industry is asking for another $32 billion to help companies meet payroll obligations through the end of March 2021, Reuters reports.

“Should October 1 arrive without extending the PSP grant job program mass layoffs are inevitable, as airline executives have acknowledged,” the group of unions said in the letter.

The request also comes as members of Congress eye another coronavirus stimulus package that could once again top $1 trillion.

The Air Line Pilots Association, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Transport Workers Union, Communications Workers of America,  Transportation Trades Department and AFL-CIO all reportedly signed the letter.

Many airlines have asked employees to voluntarily to take leaves of absences, while some have begun to offer their workers voluntary exit packages as they try to balance their finances.

Tags AFL-CIO CARES Act coronavirus stimulus package second wave U.S. airline industry
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