Senate Set to Support Extension of CARES Act
The IAM, as well as other AFL-CIO affiliated airline unions, pressed lawmakers to support a union-led proposal to extend layoff protections, among other things, to US aviation workers. Consequently, 16 Republican US Senators yesterday publicly stated that they will support an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) component of the CARES Act.
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The House of Representatives has already expressed bi-partisan support for the extension. With Senate Democrats supporting the measure, 16 GOP senators and the Trump Administration stating it also supports the proposal, it appears likely that the nation’s aviation workers will be shielded from layoffs until at least April 1, 2021.
There is cause for optimism but it’s not a done deal yet.
Extending CARES Act layoff protections, however, is contingent on a complete pandemic relief package being agreed to by both Democrats and Republicans, and signed into law by the president. Details on other components of the bill are currently being negotiated. Reports state that both sides hope an agreement can be reached as early as Friday.
This is a very positive development for airline workers who would be protected from layoffs and the aid would give airlines more breathing room for industry demand to recover.
It is very important to emphasize that this development would NOT have been possible without the efforts of the IAM, its members, other airline union members and unrepresented airline workers who joined the fight. The airlines had to be prodded into supporting this extension and without the determination of organized labor over 100,000 airline workers would be facing layoffs come October 1st. Hundreds of thousands of emails and calls were made to elected officials, which is making all the difference. There is power in acting together.
Workers mobilizing to protect their families is very powerful, and UNIONIZED Republic AMTs, acting collectively to achieve the shared goal of a fair, legally binding contract, will be equally as powerful.
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