Airline labor unions, with Republican backing, are poised for historic win of billions in additional payroll aid (

August 8, 2020

By Ted Reed

Assuming that Congress can come to terms on another major economic stimulus bill, the airline industry, led by its labor unions, has apparently garnered sufficient backing to extend payroll support until March 31, 2021.

That became evident Wednesday, when 16 Republican senators said in a letter that they backed providing $25 billion in additional federal aid for the industry as a response to the coronavirus crisis, which has seen U.S. air traffic fall by about 75%. The aid package already had backing from most Democratic senators.

An earlier stimulus bill, approved in March, provided $31 billion to pay airline industry workers through Sept. 30. With that date approaching, about 76,000 airline industry employees have been warned they could be laid off, perhaps all on the same day.

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