US Key lawmaker quizzes airlines on delays, worker shortages
Gina Raimondo's push to sell Biden's agenda: Lobsters, cruises and scotch
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo won't hesitate to make the hard ask. She wants to make that clear. © Paul Morigi/Getty Images Then-Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo speaks onstage during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in October 2015 in Washington, DC. There may be, after all, nothing less than the fate of President Joe Biden's sweeping $4 trillion economic agenda hanging in the balance in the weeks ahead.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A key senator is asking six U.S. airlines to explain the high rates of delayed and canceled flights this summer, and she's asking whether there are labor shortages despite the airlines getting billions in federal aid to keep workers on the job.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, sent letters Friday to the CEOs of American, Southwest, Delta, JetBlue, Republic and Allegiant. She wrote that she is concerned by reports that have highlighted the role of worker shortages in a surge of delayed and canceled flights.
Hot, hot, hot
FDA to warn about possible link between J&J shot and autoimmune disorder. It's Monday's news.It's Alex. Let's get to the news, ASAP.
In identical letters to the CEOs, Cantwell said each airline did a poor job of managing its workforce and, at worst, "failed to meet the intent of tax payer funding and prepare for the surge in travel that we are now witnessing.”
On The Money: Democrats reach deal on $3.5T target | Biden rallies Democrats: 'We're going to get this done'
Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're probably going to be avoiding flights for a while. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.See something I missed? Let me know at email@example.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.Write us with tips, suggestions and news: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane and @NJagoda.
Since March 2020, when the pandemic began to crush air travel, Congress has approved $54 billion to keep airline workers employed. As a condition of the aid, airlines have been prohibited from furloughing workers, but they persuaded tens of thousands of employees to take voluntary buyouts, early retirement or long-term leave to cut costs.
Now the airlines are trying to bolster their staffs. This week,in saying it will recall 3,300 flight attendants from long-term leave and hire 800 more before the end of the year. Delta said it will hire between up to 5,000 workers this year to reduce long hold times for customers who call the airline and to deal with workers shortages at contractors such as food caterers and airplane cleaners.
Airlines and their unions lobbied for the federal aid, which has been extended twice and is scheduled to end Sept. 30. Trade group Airlines for America said that without the money, “the impacts of the pandemic would have been far more devastating to our industry and our workforce, and our return to the skies would have been dramatically slowed.”
Where's my sofa? A foam shortage is leading to delays and higher prices on furniture, RVs, more
A foam shortage sparked by the February storm in Texas is still causing delivery delays, higher prices for sofas, boats, RVs, refrigerators, moreWant to know why?
Government figures show thatlast fall, when the aid briefly expired. The jobs were restored when Congress extended the payroll relief.
Southwest, one of the hardest hit by delays, said Friday it used the federal money to keep flying to all the airports it served before the pandemic. It blamed recent delays on summer thunderstorms and technology “challenges” last month that led to an unusually high number of delays and flight cancelations.
The number of people flying in the U.S. bottomed out at less than 100,000 a day in April 2020. It has increased from about 700,000 a day in early February to about 2 million a day in July, although that is still down 20% from the same month in 2019, before the pandemic.
UK food sector workers exempt from self-isolation rules .
Supermarket shelves were empty in some parts of Britain after the staff shortagesThousands of UK food sector workers will be exempt from self-isolation if they come into contact with a Covid-19 case, a minister said Friday, after staff shortages led to empty supermarket shelves. The government opted to exempt food sector workers after seeing rising absence rates this week, the minister said. Workers will automatically be allowed to keep working at 500 key sites if they are "pinged" by the app.They will be required to take daily tests at their workplace.The government said in a statement late Thursday that the measures were set to be rolled out from this week.