American Airlines supports unions in bid to expand billions in federal aid through March

On April 5, 2020, a member of the ground crew moves from American Airlines aircraft standing at the gate during an outbreak of coronovirus disease (COVID-19) at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Top executives of American Airlines on Wednesday backed an effort to expand billions in federal aid to protect aviation jobs through March as the impact of the epidemic on travel jeopardized thousands of positions.

Some $ 32 billion in federal aid was set aside to protect jobs in the US airline industry, and it banned employers from cutting positions from September 30 under the CARES Act relief package passed in March.

But with the expiration of that deadline and an increase in American coronavirus cases, there is a nascent decrease in travel demand, with some legalists and labor unions seeking additional assistance. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers to notify employees of possible layoffs or temporary furloughs that typically occur 60 days in advance, meaning airlines are beginning to warn workers about a possible fall .

Earlier this week, the bipartisan House lawmakers, headed by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D.-Ore., Chairman of the House Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, urged other members of Congress in a letter to request funding for the program by March 2021 Expand. Labor unions called at the end of last month.

The Trump administration and drug makers are working on a Kovid-19 vaccine fast tracker and expect one to be approved for distribution by the end of the year.

By March 2021, “there will definitely be a greater demand for air travel, and with that demand, there will be little need for involuntary furloughs throughout the industry,” airline CEO Doug Parker and its president, Robert Isom, wrote in a note . Employees, warning employees about 25,000 potential furloughs.

“This is a union-led initiative across our industry, but American supports any legislation that would protect our team jobs during these extraordinary times,” he said.