A message from the Director of the Teamsters Airline Industry Division, David Bourne:

To All Of My Fellow Teamster Members In The Airline Industry:

Our country is currently gripped by a pandemic the likes of which nobody has ever seen in our lifetimes, causing our entire society to be at a standstill. The crisis caused by the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) is one that promises to have a pronounced impact throughout all sectors of the economy, but particularly in the field of aviation. During this time most if not all of us in the industry are worried about what the future holds, so with that in mind I’d like to provide you with some information regarding what our union has been doing to ensure that our interests are protected in any legislation that is being or has been drafted to address the impact of COVID – 19:

The Federal government’s response is extremely fluid at this point and some of it is moving very quickly, but we are fully engaged with decision-makers and coalition allies to make sure the needs of Teamster families are addressed. We have both proactively reached out to and been contacted by Congressional leadership in the Senate and the committees tasked with writing the next iteration of assistance packages. Our union has offered initial suggestions with the guidance of the Airline Division, the guidance of the other IBT Division Directors and the IBT Safety and Health Department.

At this point two pieces of legislation have been passed by Congress to address the pandemic. The first is an emergency supplemental funding bill which the President signed on March 2. The second is a more comprehensive economic stimulus and support package called The Families First Coronavirus Response Act - H.R. 6201. The emergency supplemental bill included $8.3 billion in total funding, mostly geared towards addressing immediate public health concerns and loans to affected small businesses. The Families First Act strengthens unemployment insurance with $1 billion in emergency grants to states for processing and paying unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. It also requires states to take steps to temporarily ease eligibility requirements that might be limiting access to UI during the COVID-19 outbreak. A third and more comprehensive support package is already in the works and there will also be legislation to provide direct assistance to hard hit industries and financial markets.