Delta, JetBlue criticized for cutting employee hours after receiving billions in coronavirus relief

Thursday, May 21, 2020
By Lori Aratani, The Washington Post

Lawmakers are criticizing Delta Air Lines and JetBlue for plans to cut employee hours, despite receiving more than $5 billion in government support as part of the federal coronavirus relief package.

In letters sent this week to the airlines’ chief executives, more than a dozen senators wrote that plans to reduce employee hours violate the intent of the Payroll Support Program that was established as part of the $2 trillion Cares Act.

“Your decision to cut employee hours is inconsistent with congressional intent and is a blatant and potentially illegal effort to skirt you requirements to keep workers on payroll, and you should reverse this policy immediately,” the senators wrote.

Under the Cares Act, U.S. airlines were eligible to receive more than $50 billion in grants and loan. Of that, $25 billion was in the form of grants that were to be used to keep front line workers such as flight attendants, pilots and mechanics on the job. In exchange for receiving the money, airlines had to agree to a number of conditions, including keeping workers on the job through Sept. 30.

Read the full story from The Washington Post

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