SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Tens of thousands of jobs are on the line as Congress struggles to save the airline industry, but a new bill announced Friday is giving some aviation workers hope.
For Dante Harris, it’s more than a job.
“It's a career that I would never want to exchange for any other,” said Harris.
In his 21 years as a flight attendant with United Airlines, he’s traveled to every corner of the world. Now, he’s among the tens of thousands laid off after Congress failed to pass a stimulus bill this week
Harris is the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA Council 12 union stationed at LAX, which also serves San Diego and Seattle members.
He says about 2,500 United Airlines workers on the west coast lost their income and health care.
It comes as an incredibly hard blow for the first responders of the sky who already faced countless challenges due to COVID-19.
“We provide service to make sure that doctors and nurses get to where they need to go, to make sure that Americans are safe,” said Harris.
On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said if a bipartisan agreement is not reached, she’ll push for a standalone bill to extend payroll protections for airline workers for another six months.
Harris is calling on Washington to extend that crucial funding so airline workers can get their wings back.
“We need that bridge to get us to the point where we can bounce back,” said Harris. “And we can fly America to all corners of the earth again.”