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Companies are cutting back because of Biden’s stimulus package

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WASHINGTON – The giants of two airlines have said they will cancel tens of thousands of jobs as a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress this week.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, who last month warned of layoffs of 14,000, said in a social media post that new congressional funding for airlines would allow employees to receive their “health care” salaries by September.

American Airlines has said it plans to cancel notices of 13,000 layoffs last month.

“They are happily canceled. You can tear them. ” US CEO Doug Parker and its chairman Robert Isom wrote in a note to employees: “We are grateful for the support of our leaders and for their continued recognition.”

The $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress on Wednesday, signed by President Biden on Thursday, provides benefits to low- and middle-income households and expands unemployment benefits for workers. It allocates hundreds of billions of dollars to cities, states, school reopening, vaccine distribution, testing, and other health care funding.

Unlike previous promotion efforts, Biden’s aid package includes much less for companies, but includes $ 65 billion in targeted industries, including restaurants, aviation, live entertainment and tourism.

Chip Rogers, President and CEO of the American Hotel and Accommodation Association, described it as a possible step forward that will help small businesses protect their jobs. He said the epidemic had halted the 10-year growth of the hotel industry, with the share of leisure and hospitality accounting for about 39% of jobs lost during the epidemic.

“We applaud President Biden for recognizing that small businesses need more help to get through this difficult time,” he said in a statement. “This legislation will serve as a lifeline for hotels and other businesses devastated by epidemics.”

Anemari Strassel, a member of the Unite Here union, which represents 300,000 people in industries such as hotels, airports, transportation and catering, said they were not aware of the planned redundancies. He says about 70-80% of unions remember being out of work.

But members will benefit from a number of legal measures, including health coverage for people who lose their job coverage, $ 1,400 incentive checks, child tax credits, and unemployment insurance bonuses, Strassel said.

“The real benefit we see is the immediate assistance that millions of people will receive, including hundreds of thousands of homeless jobs as a result of this law,” he said.

The bill provides $ 15 billion for airline contractors who have persistently struggled with declining travel demand during the epidemic to keep employees on pay in September.

Boeing, which said it would increase its workforce to 130,000 jobs by the end of this year, down from about 30,000 by early 2020, declined to say whether the aid would help avoid any of the layoffs, but thanked it. was for the package.

The legislation provides for $ 3 billion in salary assistance to the aerospace supply chain, which should benefit many suppliers in Washington state.

Aer is an aerospace manufacturer that has lost or reduced more than 10% of its workforce, or has seen its revenue fall by at least 15% in 2019-2020. During the period, he is entitled to a six-month grant to help pay up to 25% of his salary. labor force.

The government will pay 50% of the total employee compensation, including health benefits, and the employer will be responsible for the remaining 50%.

“This legislation will enable airlines, aerospace suppliers to retain employees, be prepared to help rebuild a strong economy, and continue to serve as a driver of the global economy,” the company said in a statement.

The bill also provides $ 8 billion in US airports and about $ 30.5 billion in grants to other transit agencies. Amtrak, which is expected to receive about $ 1.7 billion, said on Wednesday that hundreds of workers could be laid off as early as next month.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has warned that it may have to remove 9,000 seats. But now he is expected to receive $ 6 billion from the stimulus package, which, according to him, will help protect against cuts and cuts in services in the coming years.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which is expected to receive $ 1.4 billion in transit funding for the Washington area, has said it will be able to delay cuts and reductions in services offered for fiscal year 2022. package Last year, it was proposed to cut about 2,400 positions.

“Congress has once again stepped up to address the needs of the atmosphere և regional transit systems that will be crucial to the economic recovery of our region,” said Paul Smedberg, Chairman of the Metro Board of Directors. “While it will take more time to work out all the details, including this exact portion of Metro funding, the $ 1.4 billion provided by the US Rehabilitation Program for transit agencies in our region will help us anticipate the expected painful cuts and reductions. the table. “

The bill also includes $ 28.6 billion in restaurant assistance.

Some small business owners say they are not yet sure how to use the promotion.

Susanna Cotin, owner of the Italian restaurant Lido in New York’s Harlem district, said she hoped to receive a grant through an incentive program to recoup the money she spent on creating outdoor seats that were safe for customers to use during that time. epidemic.

He reduced his staff from 40 before the epidemic to 25 to 28 now. The workers who work so far also work fewer hours than before. Kotin says the more help a restaurant receives, the more likely it is to hire employees as epidemic restrictions ease.

“He waits until they increase their capacity, they wait until more people adjust,” he said. “If that happens, we will be able to hire more people, but if we have a high, we know that salaries are covered, it will be a huge help.”

Stephen Bistran is the President of Lakewood Spirits at the Buffalo, New York. “Before the epidemic, drinks, which included a tasting room and an event venue, were running fast,” he said. But that all ended about a year ago.

Bistran said he had less than six employees out of 25, but was holding on to two stages of the payroll protection program loans. At one point last year, the distillery aimed to make hand sanitizers in the event of a shortage by helping to supply nursing homes, hospitals, police and fire departments.

Because of the multi-profile identity of its area. It is a distillery, which acts as a quasi-bar, which also holds large events such as weddings. Each stimulus district starts looking for weed legislation to see which aid programs can be applied. It is a difficult process for a small business without a large legion of lawyers and accountants at their disposal.

So Bistran said he was not sure if he would be able to use any of the new stimulus package, but said he was hopeful.

“I did not do anything precautionary as this was coming,” he said. “I have learned details about the devil. Դա Does this apply to me? How is it used? What are the rules? Ի՞նչ What do I have to do in return? ”

The aid provisions have also received some incredible support. Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker voted against the bill Wednesday but welcomed the restaurants it included. “This funding will ensure that small businesses can survive the epidemic by helping to streamline their operations and keep employees on their payroll,” he said on Twitter.

The other Republicans continued to fight against it. On Wednesday, Florida Sen. Rick Scott urged cities to return $ 350 billion in aid to the states, which, despite its popularity, has received funding requests from many local leaders, including Republicans.

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Breaking National aerospace correspondent Dominic Gates contributed to this report. They also contributed to the Washington Post’s Lori Aratani, Luz Lazo and Hamza Shaba.

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