AIA, IAM Chiefs Urge Congress To Act on Jobs Bills

 - November 19, 2020, 9:01 AM

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) are stepping up lobbying efforts to convince Congress to move on legislation that would provide government assistance to keep aerospace workers employed. Companion bills introduced in the House and Senate would authorize federal government assistance for up to 50 percent of compensation for “at-risk” aviation manufacturer employees, as long as the company covers the remaining portion.

In a joint op-ed piece to the Washington insider publication The Hill, AIA president and CEO Eric Fanning and IAM international president Robert Martinez Jr. stressed that the aviation industry has been one of the most heavily impacted from the Covid-19 pandemic. That impact, they said, “is reverberating across the aviation ecosystem,” with global aircraft production dropping by half this year and thus putting 220,000 U.S. jobs at risk at companies of all sizes.

The companion bills would create a “temporary, targeted, and transparent emergency program” to help stave off layoffs. 

“We’ve already seen too many U.S. job losses—it’s time for Congress to act,” they stressed. “Passing these payroll bills will help save vital U.S. jobs and empower aerospace’s extraordinary workforce to help strengthen American economic success and national security. It will stabilize this critical industry today and ensure we are set up to achieve an even better tomorrow.”