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Democrats wants US$170 million in Covid grants taken from Swissport

MASS layoffs at groundhandler Swissport USA has prompted congressional demands for a clawback of the US$170

09 August 2020 - 19:00

MASS layoffs at groundhandler Swissport USA has prompted congressional demands for a clawback of the US$170.4 million in federal relief funds given to the firm prevent job losses, reports American Shipper.

In a July 29 letter to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, three committee leaders in the US House of Representatives contended that the Payroll Support Programme (PSP) was intended to save jobs affected by the coronavirus pandemic, 'not provide a corporate bailout.'



Under the CARES Act, they explained, PSP funds were to be used exclusively to pay employee wages, salaries and benefits. 'To receive these funds, recipients must refrain from conducting involuntary furloughs or reducing pay rates and benefits until September 30, 2020.'



Swissport USA was one of 12 airline industry contractors receiving a share of over $728 million in PSP funding. 'Yet according to media reports and state agency disclosures, these companies laid off thousands of workers before signing Payroll Support Programme agreements with the Treasury Department,' said Democrats congressmen James Clyburn, Peter DeFazio and Maxine Waters.



In a separate letter sent to Swissport USA CEO Frank Mena, the lawmakers stated that the $170 million the company agreed to receive in payroll support was the second highest award given to any aviation contractor.


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