Employees watch as American Airlines Flight 903 prepares for take off from Miami in 2016. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
American Airlines will begin furloughing 19,000 employees on Thursday as Congress fails to reach a deal on a COVID-19 relief bill, CEO Doug Parker announced to employees.
The federal Payroll Support Program (PSP) under the CARES Act passed by Congress in March expires on October 1. The House was set to vote on a $2.2-trillion stimulus package on Wednesday, but the vote was delayed in a last-minute attempt to negotiate a deal with the White House.
“I am extremely sorry we have reached this outcome,” Parker wrote in the letter to employees. “It is not what you all deserve.”
“It is a privilege to advocate on behalf of the hardworking aviation professionals at American and throughout the industry, and you have my assurance that we will continue to do so in the days ahead,” the CEO continued. Adding, “We are not done fighting.”
Parker wrote in the announcement that the company will “reverse our furlough processes and recall any impacted team members” in the event that Congress reaches a deal on the coronavirus stimulus package and extends the PSP.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said they made progress towards an agreement on the relief bill, and the House Speaker canceled the Wednesday vote, suggesting that both parties are coming closer to a bipartisan plan.
“We made a lot of progress over the last few days,” Mnuchin told reporters. “We still don’t have an agreement, but we have more work to do and we’re going to see where we end up.”
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—davidshepardson (@davidshepardson) September 30, 2020
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