For weeks, aviation workers have been loudly sounding the alarm bell on the phones and in the streets to Senate Republicans: if they didn't extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP) that was part of the CARES Act, thousands of passenger service agents and Flight Attendants were guaranteed to lose their jobs on October 1st. We knew this was a hard deadline to avoid mass layoffs, and that's why we put every effort into making sure Senators knew they had to act.
Now it's October 1st. Thousands of workers across the country will begin receiving their layoff notices today because Mitch McConnell refuses to bring a comprehensive COVID relief package to the floor for a vote that would include extending the PSP program, reinstating expanded unemployment benefits, and providing support for state and local government. Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) even blocked an attempt to unanimously pass a standalone bipartisan bill extending the PSP program through March.
It is unconscionable and un-American for McConnell and Senate Republicans to choose to leave thousands of workers across the country with no paycheck and no health insurance during a pandemic.
Passenger service agents from CWA Local 1171 took their message to Capitol Hill on Thursday, taking the 5AM bus to Washington, D.C., and meeting with members of Congress, including Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) (center), to send a message to Congress that we need to protect airline workers' jobs, public health, and critical public services NOW!