Aviation Employee mass layoffs unavoidable without CARES Act Extension

Aviation labor union leaders have sent a letter to Congressional leadership to call on lawmakers to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP) in the CARES Act through March 31, 2021, to avoid aviation employee mass layoffs.

The current PSP only ensures continued employment of most U.S. aviation workers until October 1, 2020.

Which aviation employees are protected by the PSP and which ones are not can be a complex answer. For example, smaller non-unionized aviation companies are the most exposed to being laid off, even prior to October 1. One company already laying off workers is ABM Aviation, a contractor hired to clean Delta aircraft. Video: YouTube/11Alive.

How PSP funding prevents aviation employee mass layoffs

PSP funding has kept hundreds of thousands of airline workers employed and covered under their healthcare plans during the coronavirus pandemic. Unless there is an extension of PSP funding, labor leaders warn mass layoffs in the aviation industry are unavoidable. Airlines continue to struggle amid the COVID-19 situation. Demand for air travel remains at or below 20 percent of last year’s levels.

Aviation Labor Union leaders

Union leaders are pointing out what will happen if PSP funding is not extended:

“Not only will hundreds of thousands of workers lose their jobs and health insurance, but the industry would lose a large portion of the experienced and credentialed workforce that will be critical to bringing the sector and the broader economy back to prosperity once the COVID-19 crisis is over. Airline industry employment cannot simply be put back together overnight, and mass layoffs will do great damage to the sector, with potentially irrevocable consequences.

“Only through an extension of PSP grants can Congress ensure that airline workers will continue to stay on payroll and ready to turn the industry around, prevent mass unemployment in October, and keep aviation workers ready to lift off as travel picks back up. We urge you to include this simple and necessary provision in the next COVID-19 response package, and appreciate your continued support for airline and airline contractor employees in our country.”

Who do aviation labor unions represent?

The aviation labor unions collectively represent hundreds of thousands of aviation professionals. The professionals include aircraft cabin crews (flight attendants), ground crews, ticket and gate agents, aircraft cabin cleaners, pilots, and more.

Which aviation unions sent the letter to Congress?

  • Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
  • Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA).
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  • The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
  • Transport Workers Union (TWU).
  • Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD).

What do you think it takes to secure the hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs at stake in the U.S.? Barring an extension of the PSP aviation employee mass layoffs appear to be inevitable. You can contact us here.

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