October 12, 2020 at 4:23 AM EDT
‘Incredible whiplash’ for U.S. airline workers, talk of ‘crisis’ for transit as uncertainty over stimulus persists
By Michael Laris, Lori Aratani and Luz Lazo
U.S. airline executives and workers ended an exhausting and turbulent week uncertain about their future, as a bipartisan push for federal payroll aid for the ailing industry fizzled in the face of a broader struggle over how the federal government should boost the nation’s pandemic-stricken economy.
Yet even as airlines’ pleas for swift assistance went unanswered and deep layoffs continued, other parts of the hard-hit U.S. transportation industry found their severe problems back in the mix just days after President Trump on Tuesday declared stimulus talks over until after the election. By Friday, his administration was back preparing a roughly $1.8 trillion plan.
With the White House now negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over a broader deal, aid for bus drivers, train operators and flight attendants is again part of a wider conversation about potential financial assistance for millions of unemployed Americans and small businesses ravaged by the nation’s failure to control the pandemic.