Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Business News

Thousands of United and American airline workers furloughed

(BUSINESS NEWS) Relief for airline companies couldn’t be agreed upon, moving United and American to lay off thousands. Will more airlines have to do the same?

American Airline plane grounded at sunset.

With air travel shutting down this March, and only just barely starting to bounce back this summer, the airline industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the industry group Airlines for America, air travel is down 70 percent from pre-COVID times. This spring, airlines struck a deal with Congress that, in exchange for billions of dollars in payroll assistance, they wouldn’t lay off employees. At that time, American received $5.8 billion in federal assistance, while Delta received $5.4 billion, United received $5 billion, and Southwest got $3.3 billion.

But, unfortunately for tens of thousands of airline employees, the CARES Act Payroll Support Program expired at the end of last month. While payroll support for airlines has broad bipartisan support, the PSP is tied to the larger, more contentious COVID-19 relief bill, which the Senate and House can’t seem to agree on. United Airlines and American Airlines say they can no longer afford their payroll and have furloughed thousands of workers. American furloughed 19,000 employees, while United furloughed around 13,000, half of whom had in-flight service positions.

Now airline executives are putting the pressure on Congress to renew the CARES Act, and are encouraging employees to contact their representatives as well. Doug Parker, CEO at American Airlines, says he’s been in conversation with Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, who, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are working to negotiate a COVID-19 relief package that would include more payroll assistance. Parker says that if Congress can pass a bill within the next few days, he may be able to bring his employees back to work.

Flight attendants are also urging Congress to pass the relief package. The Association of Flight Attendants has started a campaign to tell Congress to #ExtendPSP for #ReliefNow. Sara Nelson, president, says that members “don’t know how they will pay rent, feed their families, or cover the cost of their prescriptions or medical care.” Flight attendants have also been found protesting outside the offices of their representatives.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Some major airlines seem to have made the cost-cutting adjustments necessary to avoid laying off employees. Neither Southwest nor Delta are currently furloughing employees. Southwest claims they have no plans to do so, while Delta CEO Ed Bastian is currently negotiating with the pilots union in hopes of avoiding furloughing 1,700 pilots next month.

Large layoffs in this vital economic sector may have what Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, called an “avalanche effect,” rippling out to other support industries and having a major impact on the family members of those who have lost their jobs.

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: COVID-19's effect on job losses is worse than it looks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Advertisement

KEEP READING!

Business News

In the midst of the layoffs across the tech industry, Carvana follows suit as the hot demand for cars recently dips unexpectedly.

Tech News

Twitter, Meta, Amazon, Stripe, and Uber just scratch the surface of big tech companies initiating layoffs, but there is still hope.

Video

This week, we talk about fake tweets tanking stocks, layoffs at big firms, home depot earnings beat expectations, and a script job seekers are...

Business News

The employees fired from Twitter are being asked to rejoin. This seems backwards, but it isn't all that uncommon. Let's explore why!

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.