Trump Considering Action to Avoid Massive Airline Furloughs

Unions: ‘Congress Must Act This Week or Millions More Will Go Jobless’

By Paul Riegler on 27 August 2020
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American Airlines is the world’s largest carrier

President Trump may take executive action to avert massive layoffs at U.S. airlines amidst a stalemate in Congress in passing a new stimulus package, the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said.

The current payroll support packages the airlines received end on September 30.  Meadows’ remarks came the day after American Airlines said it would shrink its workforce by 40,000 if additional government aid were not forthcoming.

“If Congress is not going to work, this president is going to get to work and solve some problems,” he said.  “So hopefully, we can help out the airlines and keep some of those employees from being furloughed,” Meadows said in an interview with the political news website Politico.  He expressed doubt whether executive action would be sufficient, however, telling Political that “It would take a Cares package, I believe, to do it,” referring to the earlier bailout.

All major U.S. airlines have warned their employees that layoffs are unavoidable without additional government support, and some union representatives believe that only Congress can resolve the situation.

“The EOs do absolutely nothing,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Sara Nelson on Twitter, referring to executive orders.  “Congress must act this week or millions more will go jobless.”

The union represents flight attendants at 19 airlines including United.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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