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E-Lines: July 03, 2020

Date: July 3, 2020

Extending the CARES Act Payroll Support Program – We have a vital interest.

Over the last four months, Flight Attendants and our industry have faced an unprecedented crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our fast mobilization in March led to passage of the CARES Act, including the aviation Payroll Support Program (PSP) to stave off involuntary furloughs and “for the continuation of employee wages, salaries, and benefits” affecting 2.1 million workers across aviation. This critical legislation has kept our industry intact, Flight Attendants and other workers connected to our healthcare, and continued service to all of our communities.

The virus continues to be a threat to our health, jobs, and industry. Domestic demand for air travel is not expected to return until well into 2021. Passenger travel is still only about 20% of what it was last year, while international travel is currently restricted and predicted to take years to recover. Without an extension of the Payroll Support Program there will be hundreds of thousands of aviation workers who lose our jobs on October 1.

We are calling for a six-month aviation Payroll Support Program extension through March 31, 2021, to protect our jobs, extend the restrictions on stock buybacks, dividends, and executive compensation, and maintain service to all of our communities. All of aviation labor is standing together to call on Congress to pass a clean extension of the Payroll Support Program before the summer recess at the end of July. Waiting until September for this action is too late because October planning will be done and hundreds of thousands of workers will already be told they are out of work. We need urgent action on this now.

Read Aviation Union Letters to Congressional Leadership and Take Action >

We all have an interest at ensuring Congress acts to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP) in order to stave off involuntary furloughs and to ensure all of us continue to receive wages, salaries and benefits.  Not only will this legislation keep our industry alive, it will keep all of us connected to our benefits while maintaining our ability to remain engaged with the vital economies of our nation and the local communities in which we live.

Tell Congress to keep our industry intact to ensure aviation can help fight the virus and contribute to economic recovery as opposed to adding to an economic depression.


How does Deadhead Deviation Impact Holiday Pay?

Section 3.I.. of our JCBA provides for deadheading as well as deviation from deadhead.  In particular, Section 3.I.13.provides us with the ability to Last Segment deadhead.  A lineholder with prior notice and a Reserve with prior approval from Crew Scheduling, may elect not to fly on a scheduled deadhead segment.    If not, she/he may elect to:

  • Be released from duty, or
  • Deadhead on an earlier flight over the same routing if seats are available.  

When exercising either of these two options, the question becomes one of how each of these elections impacts holiday pay.

In a situation where a Flight Attendant provides the appropriate notice or receives permission to deviate and she/he requests the company modify her/his pairing to schedule them to return to base earlier than was scheduled in her/his original pairing, she/he will have her/his holiday pay recalculated using the formula outlined in Section 4.I based on the early return to base and reduction in her/his time away (TMA) from home.  Said another way, rescheduling to return home early reduces time away from home and can impact the total holiday pay associated with the pairing.

Should a Flight Attendant provide the appropriate notice or receive permission as a Reserve to be released from duty to deviate, she/he will be paid her/his holiday pay based on the originally scheduled time away (TMA) based on the original arrival of the return flight schedule, regardless of how that segment home actually operates.

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council office.


United States Independence Day Holiday – This year, it’s different but just as important 

This year, the United States Independence Day holiday is a two-day holiday but the traditions we may normally enjoy – going to the beach, enjoying hometown parades while lining the streets of our hometown, barbecues with family and friends or even watching fireworks displays in our community parks or other venues – we simply cannot participate in this year because of the continuing impact of COVID-19.

The outbreak of COVID-19 and its recent resurgence has forced local communities to cancel many of these traditional events in the interest of public health and safety. Just as it’s changed almost everything else, the coronavirus outbreak has forced us to look at our annual Fourth of July festivities through a different lens. 

It’s ironic that during this holiday celebrating our independence, the real message for this year’s holiday is one that suggests everyone stays home.  The traditional festivities where we celebrate the great freedoms we enjoy in this country are being curtailed as we seek to avoid large weekend gatherings in order to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.  

In our chosen careers, we’ve become accustomed to facilitating the gathering of family and friends for these holiday celebrations.  That we are not doing so this year in the same way we have done so in the past, is but another indication of how the virus has changed everything.  

However, as other geopolitical events occur in the world around us, celebrating our hard-fought independence and the freedoms we enjoy in these great United States of America, it is more important this year than ever before that we do celebrate.  Although there are local restrictions that prevent us gathering in large groups, celebrating our independence is a vital activity, even when celebrated modestly, that the world will be watching.  

Everyone in the United States should celebrate the Fourth of July, we just have to find a way to celebrate differently – in a way that keeps everyone safe and that promotes health.

On behalf of the United Master Executive Council, we wish you and your families a safe and healthy U.S. Independence Day Holiday.


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