House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that support for new payrolls for airlines was “imminent” and called on them to stop vacationing for tens of thousands of workers. But one airline has already said it will not stop until new legislation is passed.
“I am calling on airlines to delay devastating job cuts as relief advances for airline workers in Congress,” Pelosi He said in a statement. “As relief advances for airline workers, the airline industry must delay these devastating job cuts.”
On Friday, a clean, independent extension of the House payroll support program was introduced, which should extend support to airline payrolls.
Airlines have received more than $ 25 billion in aid as part of the original CARES Act that was passed in March, which includes a requirement that they not undertake any layoffs until October 1. That day passed without new support, which led to the holidays.
But despite Pelosi’s strong words, airlines are unlikely to flash until there is money on the table. Airlines have been pushing for weeks for new relief to pass it through to March 2021.
“As promised, we will reverse our leave process and mention any affected team members if the payroll support program is extended in the next few days,” Stacey Day, a spokesman for American Airlines, which began firing 19,000 workers Thursday, said by email.
United Airlines, which began firing 13,000 workers on Thursday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
House Speaker Pelosi said relief by airlines would be achieved either by passing the measure or as part of a comprehensive coronavirus relief bill.
Congress passed a $ 2.2 trillion relief bill Thursday that Republicans and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin had already signaled had no bipartisan support and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed it as too expensive.
It remains to be seen whether President Donald Trump’s positive Covid-19 test announced in the early hours of Friday morning will change the math.
Airline workers are “flooding the house with calls right now” in support of passing the independent measure, Jonathan Battaglia, a spokesperson for the Federation of Mechanical Workers, which represents baggage handlers, gatekeepers and other airline workers, in an email.
“Airline workers simply cannot wait another minute. The deadline has passed,” read a letter signed by the heads of all airline workers’ unions and sent to all members of Congress on Friday.