(CMR) Thousands of employees have received furlough notices with airlines saying they can't afford to keep them on payroll after Thursday.
The furlough notices come amid the expiration of the federal CARES Act Payroll Support Program which provided billions of dollars in aid, allowing for airlines employees to receive a cheque until the end of September.
“Our elected officials have not been able to reach agreement on a Covid-19 relief package… As a result, tomorrow, we will begin the difficult process of furloughing 19,000 of our hardworking and dedicated colleagues,” CEO Doug Parker said in a letter Wednesday.
Nonetheless passenger airline companies and their labor unions continue to lobby congress for money to pay workers for an additional six more months, through next March.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, US airlines have been dealt a severe blow as air travel screeched to a halt
Carriers have since struck agreements with unions to spread out work among employees and have negotiated early retirement packages to avert the need for involuntary terminations.
A combined total of 32,000 employees from both American Airlines and United Airlines are projected to be out of work.