July 9, 2020
United Airlines warned employees Wednesday it could furlough as much as 36,000 workers, or more than a third of its team, as COVID-19 continues to damp travel demand, the Chicago Business Journal reported. The largest job cuts announced to date by Chicago-based United, the furloughs could occur around Oct. 1.
In a memo to employees, United said workers most affected by the furloughs are flight attendants and airport customer service and gate agents. Furloughs reportedly include about 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 customer service and gate agents, 5,500 maintenance employees and 2,250 pilots.
The 36,000 doesn’t include 1,400 previously announced layoffs of management and administrative employees.
“The reality is that United simply cannot continue at our current payroll level past October 1 in an environment where travel demand is so depressed,” the memo stated. “And involuntary furloughs come as a last resort, after months of company-wide cost-cutting and capital-raising.”
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