MPs say the airline’s contractors gave more than 9,000 discounts despite federal aid

Inside the gourmet 110,000-square-foot facility near Dulles Int. air port.

Astrid Riecken | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Three House Democrats on Wednesday pulled up airline contractors who laid off more than 9,000 employees despite accepting millions in federal coronovirus assistance.

The lawmakers asked Treasury Secretary Steven Menuchin to shut down aid to companies or demand some money back.

Congress paid $ 32 billion in payroll support to the ailing airline industry in the $ 2.2 trillion cars act in March. Of that amount, $ 3 billion was set aside for contractors like Caterers. The terms of the aid, which was mostly grants, prohibited recipients from closing workers through sept 30.

The chairman of a subcommittee on the coronovirus crisis, Rep. James Cleburne, DSC, wrote, “We stop providing taxpayer-funded payroll assistance for employees who are determined and unreasonably awarded Are also for the recovery of money. ” In a letter to Machuchin, Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Transport and Infrastructure Committee and repeal Maxine Waters, chairman of the Financial Services Committee.

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawmakers said they have begun an investigation into the aid given to contractors, saying they gave more than $ 720 million in government aid to at least 12 people after layoffs of about 9,300 people.

Among the companies that identified lawmakers were the airline caterer Get Gourmet, whose owner Zurich’s Gartergroup did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The lawmakers said the company is receiving $ 171 million and has hired more than 3,500 workers in California, Georgia, Illinois and New York.

The lawmakers said in a letter to the company, “Payroll support to large-scale layoffs companies is not only contrary to congressional intent, but also wastes taxpayer dollars by covering the cost of payroll for employees.”

Unite here, a labor union representing workers from Get Gourmet and Flying Food, another contractor who did not immediately comment, was asked to accept aid despite the cuts “as scandalous.”

Meghan Kohorst said, “These catering companies should be ashamed for the millions of dollars of pokemon and then leave it to the workers who intended to support the money to apply for state and federal unemployment benefits.” “


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