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American, United cancel furloughs for 30K workers after new COVID-19 aid

American, United cancel furloughs for 30K workers after new COVID-19 aid
A masked United Airlines ticket agent is seen at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Mo., on March 28, 2020. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

March 11 (UPI) -- American Airlines and United Airlines have canceled furloughs for almost 30,000 workers who would have lost their jobs next month if Congress hadn't passed President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan.

The carriers are recalling about 27,000 combined furlough notices that they'd previously announced. They said in their notices that the furloughs would occur in April if key federal payroll funding wasn't renewed by Congress.

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The House passed the $1.9 trillion relief package on Wednesday, which extended the payroll aid for airlines.

"Congress has saved thousands of airline jobs, preserved the livelihoods of our hard-working team members and helped position the industry to play a central role in the nation's recovery," American CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a joint statement.

"We are forever grateful."

United had sent notices to about 14,000 workers and American about 13,000.

"Our teams will be able to remain current in their training and ready to match expected future demand," United CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement.

"Thousands of front-line workers will now receive paychecks and healthcare through September, which is especially critical while vaccine distribution continues to ramp up."

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Under the renewed aid, U.S. carriers cannot furlough any workers until at least October. The CARES Act last year, which offered similar aid, had the same requirement.

A year in pandemic: How COVID-19 changed the world

National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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