MEC Officer Letter - Payroll Support Program Extension
March 10, 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This afternoon, Congressional leadership in Washington D.C. passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and it will be presented to President Biden for signing. This bill includes the Payroll Support Program (PSP), which will ensure all our Members will remain gainfully employed and fully connected to their health insurance.
This is amazing news, and represents the fulfillment of a commitment from President Biden as part of a national plan to get our country and our economy back on track. The inclusion of the PSP was accomplished only through our collective efforts, your individual commitment and the advocacy of our Union in concert with workers from other U.S. airlines. Tens of thousands of calls, over 100,000 letters and countless rallies throughout the year all have paid off!
With the support of many members of Congress who steadfastly supported our call for inclusion, we achieved this remarkable accomplishment. We must collectively take this opportunity to savor the sweet realization of our success brought about by our commitment to solidarity. The success we share today was brought about by all of us coming together and working collectively towards our common goal. It truly illustrates the results we can harness when we bring our power to bear in securing our profession and careers.
President Biden is committed to signing this legislation as soon as practical. Once it is signed, all furloughs and furlough-mitigation partnerships will be rescinded. We anticipate United management to make this announcement soon along with additional details in the near future.
As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of our industry overnight. We have spent the past year fighting for the protection of all Flight Attendants and for their interests. This accomplishment, the passage of this bill, means we all have job security though September of 2021.
While PSP is essential in stopping the furloughs now, it provides other protections for all aviation workers:
- Continued service to the communities we serve.
- Caps executive compensation for two years after relief.
- Bans stock buybacks and dividends for one year after the relief period ends.
According to Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, “this is the most significant legislation for working people that has been passed in decades.” The bill, is a defining moment for President Biden during his first 50 days in office and will result in the issuance of stimulus checks of up to $1,400 to many Americans and the extension of federal unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021.
In addition to shoring up the U.S. aviation industry and, by consequence, other industries that rely on travel over the summer, the bill includes funding to reopen schools, provide aid for stricken small businesses, child tax credits and health insurance subsidies.
With the addition of President Biden’s signature, we can claim a remarkable achievement for our industry and the American people, a success that would not have been possible without each of you. Your calls, testimonies, pictures, and initiatives drove this bill swiftly through the bureaucracy of Washington. You are the voice of our Union and when we come together there is nothing we cannot accomplish. On behalf of the entire United Master Executive Council and our dedicated volunteers, we are grateful for all that each of you have done in working to make this a reality.
The Officers of the United Master Executive Council,
| Vice President
03-10-21 American Rescue PSP (pdf)