[Unions want to see employees supported directly instead of funds
for airline companies.] [https://www.portside.org/] 

 PORTSIDE LABOR 

 UNIONS URGE LAWMAKERS TO PUT RESTRICTIONS ON AIRLINE BAILOUT  
[https://www.portside.org/node/22439] 

 

 Lou Whiteman 
 March 17, 2020
The Motley Fool
[https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/03/17/unions-urge-lawmakers-to-put-restrictions-on-airli.aspx]


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 _ Unions want to see employees supported directly instead of funds
for airline companies. _ 

 Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA,
says financial assistance should come "with significant conditions to
help workers and keep planes flying, not enrich shareholders or pad
executive bonuses.", Association of Flight Attendants-CWA 

 

Union leaders are urging government officials to attach employee
protections and limits on corporate actions that would "enrich
shareholders or pad executive bonuses" to any assistance package
offered to airlines to help them through the COVID-19 coronavirus
travel slowdown.

Airlines
[https://www.fool.com/investing/how-to-invest-in-airline-stocks.aspx] are
cutting flights and freezing capital spending to try to deal with a
plunge in travel demand due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and
actions by world governments to try to limit international flights.
The industry as a result is expected to lose more than $100 billion
worldwide in 2020, and without some sort of government assistance,
some warn we are headed for a flurry of bankruptcy filings
[https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/03/16/most-airlines-could-be-bankrupt-by-may-according-t.aspx].

The U.S. government has said it is preparing to act
[https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/03/13/us-airlines-seek-government-support-for-coronaviru.aspx] to
try to prop up the industry, with airline leaders reportedly pushing
for a package of up to $50 billion in grants, deferred taxes, and loan
guarantees designed to stabilize operations during the downturn. A
large government response, the industry argues, could also make
private lenders and others more willing to work with the airlines, and
reduce the overall assistance that is needed.

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA,
used tweets to urge the government to support the industry
[https://twitter.com/FlyingWithSara/status/1239642994183155716], but
to pay attention to the workers, and not the companies, involved. She
said financial assistance should come "with significant conditions to
help workers and keep planes flying, not enrich shareholders or pad
executive bonuses."

Nelson called on the government to provide direct payroll subsidies to
airline industry workers, including pilots and flight attendants but
also airport service workers.

"Absent payroll subsidies mass layoffs and furloughs are inevitable,"
Nelson wrote. "This will have long-term consequences because nearly
all aviation-related workers have to pass background checks and
security and safety training requirement."

She also suggested Congress set up a temporary oversight body with
subpoena power to make sure airlines don't misuse any funding
provided.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA joined with other airline
industry unions, including the Air Line Pilots Association, to call
for government assistance for the industry and its workers.

The comments come as some lawmakers are questioning whether the
airline industry, which has done more than $39 billion in share
buybacks
[https://www.fool.com/knowledge-center/what-is-a-share-repurchase.aspx] over
the past five years, should now receive a bailout. While the criticism
is unlikely to prevent an assistance package of some kind, it is
complicating the discussions and adding to the uncertainty.

One lawmaker, Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, a Democrat,
on TWITTER said Nelson's plan "sounds a lot better to me than giving
the corporate executives a bailout in the form of another tax cut."

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