Aviation workers unions ask Congress for another $ 32 billion in payroll aid amid COVID-19 resurgence

Half a dozen unions representing the country’s aviation workers wrote a letter to top congressional legislators on Thursday, asking for another $ 32 billion in federal aid.

The call for help comes as the aviation industry struggles to break out of its economic tailspin that was caused by orders to stay home and travel warnings to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the CARES Act, lawmakers have already given the industry $ 32 billion to cover payroll through Sept. 30 in hopes that Americans will begin to feel comfortable flying again in the early fall.

However, with concern about a second wave of the pandemic looming, the industry is asking for another $ 32 billion to help companies meet payroll obligations through the end of March 2021, Reuters reports.

“In the event that October 1 arrives without extending the PSP grant work program, mass layoffs are inevitable, as airline executives have acknowledged,” the union group said in the letter.

The request also comes when members of Congress look at another coronavirus stimulus package that could once again exceed $ 1 trillion.

According to reports, the Airline Pilots Association, the Flight Attendants Association-CWA, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Union of Transport Workers, the Communications Workers of America, the Department of Transportation Commerce and AFL-CIO signed the letter.

Many airlines have asked employees to voluntarily withdraw from their absences, while some have begun offering their workers voluntary departure packages as they try to balance their finances.