The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) commends the bipartisan efforts of the United States Congress and the Trump Administration on the passage of the CARES Act on March 27. The $2 trillion measure is intended to assist workers and businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, including significant relief for aviation workers and the entire airline industry.
“SWAPA worked diligently to ensure that the relief provided in this bill contained important protections for workers,” said Capt. Jon Weaks, President of SWAPA. “Our focus during the drafting process was geared toward workers’ rights, and we pushed for language against furloughs and pay cuts, as well as protections for provisions covered in our Collective Bargaining Agreement.”
The CARES Act places limitations on furloughs, protects collective bargaining agreements, and secures grants that will go directly towards pay and benefits. In addition to payments for families and extended unemployment benefits, the CARES Act also includes $50 billion in aid for airlines.
“We want to thank Congress and the Administration for recognizing the needs of our Pilots, Southwest Airlines, and the airline industry as a whole,” said Capt. Weaks. “We fully believe in the resiliency of our country, and our Pilots stand ready to help Southwest weather this storm of uncertainty by maintaining our high standards of professionalism, productivity, and efficiency.”
SWAPA is also appreciative of the leadership in both the House and Senate, as well as the Trump Administration, for their willingness to listen and to address the concerns of SWAPA Pilots. Because of the determination of the President, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the CARES Act is as comprehensive as it was swift.