In the wake of reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is delaying consideration of a comprehensive COVID relief package until after the election, CWA members and other workers in North Carolina held a widely-covered virtual press conference to highlight how delaying much needed assistance has affected them and their communities. The workers are calling on Senator Thom Tillis to stop putting McConnell's priorities ahead of hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who face unemployment, foreclosure, and other serious economic consequences due to the COVID-19 crisis.
President of CWA Local 3641 Zattier Marvin, an airline passenger service agent who has worked for American Airlines for 22 years, urged the Senate to provide relief for workers now.
"I want our Senators to imagine what would happen if they suddenly could not pay for food and shelter for themselves and their families," said President of CWA Local 3641 Zattier Marvin, an airline passenger service agent who has worked for American Airlines for 22 years. "What if their children couldn't go to the doctor because their health insurance disappeared? What if someone told them they could have a job but they'd have to move 2,000 miles away and uproot their whole family in order to keep it? That's what we are facing."
"Since March, we've seen illness, lockdowns, and kids going to school at their kitchen tables. But many of us have survived because of the support provided in the CARES Act," said Keedren Gantt, President of CWA Local 3640, a reservations agent at American Airlines. "When so many of us were on leave, Congress provided an expansion of unemployment insurance that allowed us to pay the rent, buy food, and keep the lights on in our homes, so we were okay. But that expansion of unemployment ran out weeks ago. New furloughs have begun and people have no idea where to turn to just survive the next weeks and months."
"As each day passes, the dire situation worsens for millions as bills for rent, car, mortgage, and other payments add up and these Republicans like McConnell and Tillis do nothing to help. Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled Senate have completely abandoned millions of families," said CWA's Senior Director for Government Affairs and Policy Shane Larson.