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

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



Inside Gate Gourmet 110,000 square feet facility near Dulles Intl Airport.

Astrid Riecken | The Washington Post | Getty Images

On Wednesday, three House Democrats beat aviation contractors who laid off more than 9,000 employees despite receiving millions in coronavirus federal aid.

Legislators asked Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin to stop assisting companies or ask for some of the funds back.

Congress allocated $ 32 billion in wage support to the ailing airline industry in the $ 2.2 trillion CARES law in March. Of that amount, $ 3 billion was set aside for contractors as nurses. The terms of the subsidy, which were mostly subsidies, prohibited recipients from laying off workers through 30 September.

"We urge the Treasury to stop offering tax-paid funded wage support to workers who have been laid off and to recover funds that were inappropriately allocated," the rep wrote. James Clyburn, DS.C., head of a subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, rep. Peter DeFazio, Head of the House of Representatives for Transport and Infrastructure, and Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the Finance Minister service committee, in a letter to Mnuchin.

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lawmakers said they have launched an investigation into the help of entrepreneurs and said they found at least 1

2 that accepted more than $ 720 million in state aid after laying off about 9,300 people.

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

"Giving wage subsidies to companies that engage in mass redundancies is not only contrary to the intent of Congress, but also wastes taxpayers' dollars by covering the cost of wages for employees who have already been laid off," lawmakers said in a letter to the company.

Unite Here, the labor union representing workers at Gate Gourmet and Flying Food, another entrepreneur who also did not immediately comment, called for accepting the aid despite the cuts "reprehensible."

"These catering companies should be ashamed of having received tens of millions of dollars and then leaving the workers that the money was meant to support themselves by applying for state and federal unemployment benefits," said Meghan Cohorst, Unite Here & # 39; ; s Press Secretary.


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