Pelosi calls on airlines to stop layoffs, calls relief ‘imminent’


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on airlines Friday to hold off on any furloughs or layoffs for tens of thousands of employees facing job cuts, and vowed that Congress will enact payroll support one way or another.

She said Congress would either enact standalone legislation to extend the Payroll Support Program for aviation workers or include it in a comprehensive coronavirus relief package. She called relief “imminent.”

“Today, I am calling upon the airlines to delay their devastating job cuts as relief for airline workers is being advanced in Congress,” Pelosi said.

Thousands of furloughs and layoffs went into effect Thursday, in the absence of a coronavirus relief deal, but airline executives said that if a deal were reached within a few days they would reverse course.

House Transportation Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has introduced a standalone bill to provide relief to aviation workers. A similar bill exists in the Senate but has not yet gotten a floor vote.

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