Sisters and Brothers:
This week has been a very uncertain time for many of our members. Many of our carriers had issued WARN notices a month or so ago and furlough notices were given to affected members earlier in September. During this time, all the airline executives told all the workers that if the CARES Act were extended, all furloughs would be rescinded, and everyone would continue employment.
Unfortunately, despite airline CEOs, labor leaders from all unions, and phone calls, office visits and social media pleas to US legislators, we are now past the original CARES Act expiration date and our members are now being furloughed. Over 80,000 airline workers are now unemployed. Thousands have taken early out packages or voluntary leave offers, receiving a fraction of their income, or in some cases, no income, but maintain medical benefits.
At ExpressJet, our flight attendants lost their employer – the company flew their last flight September 30th. These are members who had, in some cases, over 30 years with the company. To those members, thank you for your years as our members. We wish the outcome would have been much different. Thank you for your past support!
To our members who took their company’s offer for early retirement, we wish you all well in your next chapter in your life and hope it is a long and enjoyable time – you have earned that! To those who took the voluntary leaves, thank you for possibly saving a coworker from being furloughed. And to those who were unfortunately furloughed, we can hope the industry recovers sooner than later and we can welcome you all back to a much stronger industry!
While we do not have the extension of the CARES Act, the two sides are still talking, so there is still a chance relief is possible. Everyone should continue to put pressure on your legislators to do what they were elected to do – work for you!
Here’s how you can still help save thousands of airline jobs:
1. Call your Senators and Representative at 866-829-3298 and urge them to pass an extension of the airline Payroll Support Program through March 31, 2021, and to save hundreds of thousands of frontline airline workers’ jobs.
PRESIDENT-DIRECTING GENERAL CHAIR