a sad day

United Airlines announces massive furlough of frontline employees

United Airlines announces massive furlough of frontline employees

United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner, September 2017
Courtesy photo

United Airlines, which boasts a major hub in Houston, announced July 8 that it is prepared to furlough 45 percent of its U.S. based workers, which makes up 36,000 employees, ABC 13 reports.

The airline says it is facing its biggest crisis in company history.

Since it receives funding from the Payroll Support Program (under the CARES Act), United is prohibited from any involuntary layoffs until October 1.

The airline says it has taken numerous measures to cut spending and avoid layoffs, such as cutting executive pay and establishing hiring freezes. Notices will be sent to all potentially affected employees this week, according to United.

Layoffs for frontline employees will be based on seniority and based on performance for management and administrative employees. United says 3,700 employees have already agreed to separation packages.

The number of layoffs could change depending on if more employees take voluntary layoffs, or if demand changes in the fall.

The following data is a potential breakdown of the 35,902 layoffs, according to United:

  • 2,250 pilots
  • 15,100 flight attendants
  • 11,082 customer service/ gate agents
  • 808 catering employees
  • 983 reservations employees
  • 222 network operations employees
  • 5,457 maintenance tech ops
  • 2,700 admin jobs (1,300 have already agreed on separation packages)
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