Get ready to have your pockets picked, again.
Democratic congressional leaders are expected to back a third airline bailout of $14 billion for airlines and $1 billion for contractors. This would require airlines not to furlough workers for six months (past the current March 31 no furlough agreement).
Democratic leaders in Congress are likely to back $14 billion to extend the airline payroll support program for six months which would keep nearly 30,000 airline workers after the existing program expires on March 30 as well as additional funding for the sector, congressional aides and industry officials say.
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA representing workers at 17 airlines, confirmed at a House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on Thursday that $14 billion was being discussed for airlines and $1 billion for contractors.
Congress agreed to a second airline bailout in late December and mere days later airlines began their push for the third one, a prospect that investors have been eagerly anticipating.
- Payroll for airline workers who were furloughed in the fall runs approximately $250 million per month. Fewer workers are at risk of furlough this spring, but let’s just use the $250 million figure. $1.5 billion to cover payroll for all workers at potential risk of furlough for six months.
- Airlines are furloughing workers because they’re not needed to fly based on current levels of travel. This is a full pay unemployment program. (Most furloughed workers won’t actually work during the period they’re paid as a result of the second payroll support bailout. The third payroll bailout is nearly 10x overfunded to cover the actual full cost of paying furloughed workers.
- In other words airlines pocket the other $12.5 billion. They ‘have to spend it on payroll’ but they spend it on payroll costs they’d otherwise incur, for employees they need to fly and meet customer demand.
Delta hasn’t furloughed a single worker and got a second payroll bailout. Southwest hasn’t furloughed any workers during the pandemic, and after the second payroll bailout pledged not to furlough any workers at all in 2021. But they’d still get billions not to furlough workers for part of 2021.
You haven’t been buying their tickets but they’ll take your money anyway. Airlines will do anything to take billions of dollars away from taxpayers. They’ll even tell falsehoods about vaccine distribution. Don’t believe any of it.