American, United Airlines to furlough thousands of workers

Thousands of airline workers across the country are bracing for a massive round of furloughs on Thursday.

Two major airlines have announced that tens of thousands of workers will start to be let go as the economy struggles to bounce back amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With no deal in sight from Congress, as many as 50,000 airline workers from American and United Airlines could be out of a job soon.

According to the Associated Press, American Airlines says it will begin furloughing 19,000 workers on Thursday. But it can be reversed if Congress approves more funding in the next few days.

Since March, airline companies accepted $25 billion in federal aid to keep workers like flight attendants, gate agents, and others on payroll, but that money was only supposed to last until October 1. 

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"Do I feel scared? Do I feel angry and frustrated? There are so many emotions that are pulsing through my veins," said flight attendant Allie Malis.

On Wednesday, the House postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package -- which included $25 billion for airlines, giving Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin more time to agree on a bipartisan deal. 

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"I think it's safe to say we're far apart," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "I think Secretary Mnuchin and the Speaker are continuing to speak, but, we are very, very far apart." 

The passenger airlines and their labor unions are working to get taxpayer money to pay workers for 6 more months.

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