March 25, 2020
This is an unprecedented win for frontline aviation workers and a template all workers can build from. The payroll grants we won in this bill will save hundreds of thousands of jobs and will keep working people connected to healthcare many will need during this pandemic.
Our union put forward this plan, and we worked with unions representing workers across aviation and transportation to make our case to Congress. Hundreds of thousands of people sent letters and made calls. Together, we achieved something unheard of in American history: relief crafted for workers, by workers.
This is not a corporate bailout; it’s a rescue package for workers—for Flight Attendants, gate agents, pilots, mechanics, caterers, airport maintenance and janitorial staff and everyone who keeps our aviation system moving. It ensures our aviation system can operate as needed during the crisis, especially to continue moving critical personnel, aid workers, supplies and other essential business. It means every worker in aviation has what they need to stay strong through this crisis and continue working to support our communities. It keeps workers on the job so our industry can ramp back up as soon as it’s safe, which is critical to our economic recovery. And at the same time, the bill mandates strict rules on the aviation industry to rein in corporate practices like buybacks, executive bonuses and stock dividends.
This would not have been possible without the stalwart leadership of many allies on Capitol Hill, and especially our champions Chairman Peter DeFazio, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
This is only the start. We hope to build from this template to include workers across industries–to keep people connected to their paychecks and benefits and ensure our economy is ready to restart quickly and safely as soon as we have the virus under control. It shouldn’t be this hard to do the right thing. It took an extraordinary effort by many people working shoulder to shoulder. We will fight to ensure every worker receives the support we deserve during this crisis.