American And United Airlines Announce Layoffs As Federal Payroll Support Runs Out

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Big layoffs today at two of the nation's biggest airlines, American and United are notifying 32,000 employees that they are being furloughed as federal payrolls support runs out. Congress in the White House appear to be inching closer to an agreement on another massive pandemic relief package. But as NPR's David Shaper reports, the airlines say they needed it yesterday. Airline passenger traffic is down close to 70%. Since the start of the pandemic, and with fewer people flying airlines are hemorrhaging tens of millions of dollars a day. The cares act gave them $25 billion in direct payroll support. Allowing them to pay employees through September 30th. That was yesterday. Today People are devastated. Sarah Nelson heads the Association of Flight Attendants, the largest flight attendants union. They're looking at not having a pay check to pay rent. They're looking at not having healthcare. In some cases, we've got to Aviation workers who are both on the furlough list to live in the same home spouses or partners and kids who count on them. Both United and Americans say they'll recall workers if Congress provides more relief money soon. Other airlines, including Delta and Southwest say they had enough employees take early retirement or incentives to leave. So they won't need to furlough workers right now, but they could in a couple of months,

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