The IAM is encouraging aviation manufacturers to apply for the U.S. Transportation Department’s recently launched Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection program.
This much-needed program, fought for and won by the IAM’s advocacy, provides $3 billion in payroll support funding to aviation manufacturing employers, allowing them to keep aerospace manufacturing workers on their payrolls, avoid additional furloughs, and re-hire workers previously furloughed during the pandemic.
“Machinists Union members and the jobs they hold throughout the aerospace industry have always been crucial to the economy and protection of this nation, especially now as the country continues to heal from the pandemic,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “To overcome the effects of COVID-19, we must take care of the highly-skilled aerospace industry workers who are the key to reinvigorating the global economy and making sure the financial foundation of this country remains strong and intact. I hope any eligible company uses this opportunity to secure its workforce for the future and protect one of our last great manufacturing industries.”
The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection program results from a strong push by the IAM in support of bipartisan legislation, which establishes a temporary relief plan for aerospace supply chains affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The program provides up to 50 percent of both pay and benefits for the thousands of workers furloughed due to the pandemic. In addition, companies receiving these funds must commit not to conduct any layoffs or furloughs during the six-months in which the funds are in use.
Machinists Union members were among many workers in the aerospace industry who experienced layoffs and furloughs because of COVID-19. While air travel dropped significantly during 2020, so did the need for parts, repairs, modifications, and other services, hurting aerospace supply chain companies.
Nearly 100,000 aerospace jobs have been lost since the pandemic, and many more may be at risk. But, thanks to the efforts of the IAM and our allies in Congress, this program will go a long way to stop the bleeding and bring our members back to work.