Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
Three airline industry companies slated to receive $338 million in public money designed to preserve jobs in the hard-hit industry have laid off thousands of workers anyway, according to Treasury disclosure filings and public layoff data.
The largest company, Gate Gourmet, is a global preparer of airline meals and part of a Swiss conglomerate owned by the private equity firm of wealthy Malaysian businessman Richard Ong. Gate Gourmet is scheduled to get $171 million from the federal program to bail out the airline industry even after it reported laying off thousands of workers at airports in half a dozen states, including California, Georgia, New York and Illinois, in recent months, according to public filings. The exact number of workers who lost their jobs is not clear.