United Pilots Deal Avoids Almost 3,000 Furloughs
When September ends, several airlines are expected to cut jobs that were until now covered by the Payroll Support Program. That coverage will be over on Thursday unless Congress acts quickly. Roughly 40,000 airline workers are expected to laid off in an industry that has been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
United at least has some good news for some of its pilots. The airlines’ pilots have agreed to a deal that will spare almost 3,000 pilots from furloughs through at least June of 2021. Pilots agreed to work fewer hours, with the most junior pilots who were at greatest risk of furloughs facing the greatest reductions. The agreement also promises to gradually increase the remaining pilots’ work hours as passenger volumes increase, Chicago Tribune reports.
United is still expected to lay off about 13,500 of its other employees when the U.S. government’s Payroll Support Program expires on October 1. That includes flight attendants, management, support staff and maintenance workers. American Airlines is expected to lay off 19,00 workers. Southwest and Delta could avoid massive furloughs or layoffs due to voluntary leaves, or extended time off from thousands or workers.
The pandemic has delivered a huge blow to airlines. The four largest U.S. airlines, Delta, United, American and Southwest, have lost a total of $10 billion in the second quarter alone.