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Southwest Airlines says it won't furlough workers after Trump signed relief bill

Southwest Airlines says it won't furlough workers after Trump signed relief bill
© Greg Nash

Southwest Airlines says it won’t furlough any employees after the extension of payroll support included in the coronavirus relief package that President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE signed on Sunday. 

U.S. airlines received $15 billion in the $900 billion package, which extended the Payroll Support Program (PSP) for the industry. Under the terms of the aid, airlines have to keep all their employees on payroll through March 31 and will have to call back any who were furloughed in October.

“The new law will provide payroll support for all Southwest Employees through March 31, 2021. Given this, we currently do not anticipate the need to conduct any furloughs or pay cuts next year,” CEO Gary Kelly told employees on Monday. 

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PSP was a key provision from last spring's CARES Act and prevented airlines from furloughs until October. Since then, American Airlines and United Airlines have furloughed 32,000 employees and Southwest warned in December that 6,800 workers were facing possible furlough if the government did not act.

Southwest has never had layoffs since it was founded 50 years ago and is among the most profitable major U.S. airlines.

Kelly thanked Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (R-Miss.), and Rep. Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioBiden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks Biden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure DOJ declined to take up Chao ethics probe MORE (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, for their work to secure the funds for airlines. He also acknowledged Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote MORE (R-Ky.), Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Murkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy MORE (R-Maine), and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinBiden cautious in making Trump tax returns decision Biden brings back bipartisan meetings at the White House On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears MORE for their work to pass the package.

“I need to stress that dozens of government leaders are worthy of praise; however, these individuals deserve individual recognition,” he said.