Published on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Big job cuts looming at United Airlines

United Airlines plans to cut more than 3,000 management and administrative posts from October when federal payroll aid runs out.

In addition, it warns that about 30% of more than 12,000 pilots will likely be 'displaced.'

United doesn't expect travel demand to be at a level sufficient to avoid major layoffs when the government money runs out at the end of September.

"We have to acknowledge that there will be serious consequences to our company if we don't continue to take strong and decisive action, which includes making decisions that none of us ever wanted to make," Kate Gebo, human resources and labor relations EVP, said in an internal memo.

Employees impacted by job cuts will be informed in July for a likely October 1 effective date.

United sent memos to various work groups outlining possible downsizing including pilots, according to Reuters.

"Travel demand is essentially zero for the foreseeable future and, even with federal assistance that covers a portion of our payroll expense through Sept. 30, we anticipate spending billions of dollars more than we take in for the next several months," said United spokesman Frank Benenati.

United will also ask all management and admin staffers to take 20 days' unpaid leave between mid-May and September.

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