Passenger service agents, Flight Attendants, and other aviation workers are on the front lines of an unprecedented crisis for the airline industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After airline and other frontline workers mobilized in March, Congress passed the CARES Act to keep employees on payroll with wages and benefits. Now the program is set to expire in October even though the crisis isn't over. If the Senate does not take action soon, mass layoffs in the aviation industry are inevitable.
A new report released by the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD) features the stories of aviation workers who are urging Congress to extend the PSP program and save their jobs.
"The PSP has saved the jobs of hundreds of thousands of aviation workers, including mine," said Susannah Carr, a Flight Attendant and AFA-CWA member at United Airlines. "When CARES was written, it was expected the industry would be closer to full recovery by the fall. It is clear now, that will not happen. At a minimum, Congress should extend the program for another six months, through the end of March, An extension will ensure that we do not see a wave of layoffs in the aviation industry flood unemployment offices in October."
"I am not sure how I will manage my finances if the PSP is not extended," said Ruth Peniston, a passenger service agent and member of CWA Local 3641 at American Airlines. "This is the life I have known and committed to for over three decades. I cannot imagine an existence without it."