Airline layoffs would have consequences far beyond the airline industry, unions warn.
“The largest airline union in North America is warning Congress that compounded economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, beyond lost jobs, is a certainty if additional stimulus funding is not soon allocated to the industry.
“If we don’t support the industry what you will definitely see is a reduction in service, maybe no service in a lot of smaller communities, and definitely a cut in frequency in service in larger communities,” James Carlson, Assistant Airline Coordinator for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade on Wednesday.
With the exception of pilots, the IAMAW represents airline workers across the industry, including flight attendants, technicians, gate agents, ticketing agents, customer service workers, and ramp workers.
These U.S. workers face widespread involuntary layoffs scheduled to go into effect on October 1, absent additional funds to supplement $50 billion in relief distributed among airlines under the coronavirus stimulus package known as the CARES Act in exchange for an agreement to keep all workers on their payrolls.
Of the approximately 700,000 workers currently employed in the industry, the union predicts that between 250,000 and 300,000 will lose their jobs if new funding does not come through.
‘The situation in the airline industry is dire,’ Carlson said.
‘And that’s airline jobs,’ Carlson said. ‘That’s people that are working in the industry. But we’re looking at a multiplying, ripple effect on that because for every 100 airline jobs, [there] are about 300 other jobs that are supported. Those are the folks that work at the news stands. Those are the folks that work in the airports at restaurants, in the hotel industry — so massive loss in the airline industry, but great, great economic harm all around, to come.'”
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