American Air Poised to Recall Workers After New Payroll Aid

American Airlines Group Inc. will begin recalling furloughed employees as soon as U.S. lawmakers approve a relief package with payroll funds for airlines, Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said.

The first paychecks are set to be issued as soon as Dec. 24 to workers who had been sent home, Parker and American’s president, Robert Isom, said Monday in a memo to employees. Pay and benefits would be retroactive to Dec. 1.

Congress reached a deal late Sunday on a $900 billion package to help people and businesses damaged financially by the coronavirus pandemic. The relief measures include about $15 billion for U.S. airline employees, including those placed on furlough when an earlier round of aid expired Sept. 30. With demand for air travel continuing to languish, the new funds would cover airlines’ payroll costs for the first quarter of 2021.

“We’ve fought shoulder to shoulder with our labor partners since the summer to get to this point,” Parker and Isom wrote. They asked employees to contact Congressional representatives to ensure that the bill becomes law.

The recalls will be ordered according to work groups, the company’s staffing needs and seniority, a spokesman for American said.

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