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Home / Business / Lawmakers say airline contractors have laid off more than 9,000 despite federal aid

Lawmakers say airline contractors have laid off more than 9,000 despite federal aid



Gateway to a 110,000-square-foot facility near Dulles Int. Airport.

Astrid Riecken | The Washington Post | Getty images

Three House Democrats disarmed airline contractors who laid off more than 9,000 workers on Wednesday despite accepting millions in federal coronavirus relief.

Lawmakers have asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to suspend aid to businesses or ask for a refund.

Congress in March Has provided $ 32 billion in support to the struggling airline industry under the $ 2.2 trillion CARES law. Of this amount, 3 billion. USD was allocated to contractors such as caterers. The terms of the aid, which was mainly a grant, prohibited beneficiaries from laying off workers within 30 September.

“We call on the Treasury to stop providing taxpayer-funded payroll support to redundant workers and to recover any misallocated funds,”

; wrote James Clyburn, DS.C., chairman of the coronary virus crisis subcommittee. Rapper Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, and Maxine Waters, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, in a letter to Mnuchin.

The Treasury Department did not respond promptly to the request for comments.

Lawmakers said they had launched an investigation into helping contractors and said they had found at least 12 who accepted more than € 720 million. USD state aid, laying off about 9,300 people.

Among the companies identified by lawmakers was airline catering agent Gate Gourmet, whose Zurich-based group of owners did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Lawmakers said the company is receiving $ 171 million and that it has laid off more than 3,500 workers in California, Georgia, Illinois and New York.

“Paying wage subsidies to companies that engage in mass layoffs not only runs counter to Congress ‘intentions, but also wastes taxpayers’ dollars to cover the wage costs of workers already laid off,” lawmakers told the company in a letter.

Unite here, the union representing Gate Gourmet and Flying Food workers, another contractor who also did not comment immediately, called for the aid, despite its reduction, to be “reprehensible”.

“These caterers should be ashamed that they pulled out tens of millions of dollars and then left workers with the money to support themselves in claiming state and federal unemployment benefits,” said Meghan Cohorst, a spokeswoman for Unite Here.


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