United Airlines to cut 16,370 jobs as the pandemic rages

04 Septembre, 2020, 14:39 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • United Airlines

"To be clear, an extension [of the program] would be the one thing that would prevent involuntary furloughs on October 1", the memo said, "and hopefully delay any potential impact on employees until early 2021".

In addition, 1,400 Management and Administrative employees have already been told their jobs will be eliminated at the end of this month.

The figures do not include the 7,400 employees who took buyouts or early retirement. That number was reduced for most work groups through voluntary programs, Kate Gebo, United's executive vice president for human resources, said.

The airline industry has been clobbered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The flight attendants' union said United's announcement understates the job losses.

Delta Air Lines DAL.N plans to lay off almost 2,000 pilots, but has not yet numbered potential cuts for its other workers. "Where will we go?"

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This is because many have opted for leaves that will provide healthcare but no money, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President Sara Nelson said.

Amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, airline travel has significantly dropped as governments around the world restrict travel across their borders and would-be travelers engage in social-distancing practices.

The big United States carrier, which had previously said as many as 36,000 workers could be terminated, said early retirement and other programs had lessened the need for even deeper cuts, but the "devastating" impact of Covid-19 on airline travel still required layoffs. Even with a modest recovery since April, U.S. air travel is down about 70% from a year ago, costing the airlines billions in revenue.

"The pandemic has drawn us in deeper and lasted longer than nearly any expert predicted, and in an environment where travel demand is so depressed, United can not continue with staffing levels that significantly exceed the schedule we fly", the airlines wrote in a memo to employees. It noted that many United Airlines workers petitioned their representatives in Congress for an extension.

Airlines that accepted federal aid to cover payrolls have been barred from furloughing or laying off workers since March. United and other airlines and their unions are lobbying for another round of payroll support that would run through next March, but the proposal is in limbo because of stalled negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats over another large virus-relief measure.

President Donald Trump has said his administration would help USA airlines but has not given any details.

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