You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

United is latest to back union-led effort to extend coronavirus employment protections

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 7/22/2020 Edward Russell
a person standing in front of a monitor © Provided by The Points Guy
MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

United Airlines is backing union-led efforts to extend employment protections for airline employees through March to avoid furloughing as many as 36,000 staff members this fall.

The Chicago-based carrier is following the lead of unions, including the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), in an effort to get legislators in Washington to extend job protections through March, United CEO Scott Kirby said Wednesday during a virtual town hall for staff that was listened to by TPG.

United’s backing follows a similar move by American Airlines to support the effort, which could save tens-of-thousands airline jobs at a time when the recovery is tenuous at best.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

American has sent federally-mandated notices of possible furloughs to 25,000 employees and United has sent notices to nearly 36,000 staff. Delta Air Lines has notified more than 2,500 pilots of potential furloughs while Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines are warning staff that furloughs may be coming.

Airlines are barred from furloughing or laying off staff under rules laid out in the federal government’s coronavirus aid package, or CARES Act. Those expire on Sept. 30 with Wall Street analysts warning of a “terrible Thursday” on Oct. 1.

“I am confident that we can make it through the crisis without any more funding but it is also going to have an impact on employment,” Kirby told CNBC on Wednesday.

United reported a $1.6 billion loss before special items in the second quarter. The airline expects the travel recovery to stall at around half of 2019 levels until there is a vaccine, or likely until the end of 2021.


Video: American Airlines Looks to Extend Federal Aid Deadline (TheStreet)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Related: United Airlines may furlough up to 36,000 staff as coronavirus forces drastic cuts

AFA and ALPA are pushing Congress to extend the payroll protection program through March 31, 2021. Such a move, they say, would keep thousands of people on payrolls amid a deep economic slump while also giving the travel industry more time to recover from the crisis.

“Hundreds of thousands of aviation employees will lose their jobs through no fault of their own, as travel demand will remain sluggish well into 2021,” ALPA president Joseph DePete wrote in a letter to Congress on July 21. “Beyond the human toll posed by these mass layoffs, the economic damage to the economy and the industry will be substantial.”

ALPA represents pilots at Alaska Airlines, Delta, United and more than 10 other airlines.

Related: United Airlines worries travel recovery will stall until there’s a COVID vaccine

A competing proposal from the Allied Pilots Association (APA) would have the government buy seats on flights as a form of aid. The move would allow airlines to block middle seats in a promotion of social distancing, while at the same time preserve jobs during the downturn.

APA represents pilots at American.

Congress is currently debating a new coronavirus aid package with the hope that a deal can be reached before its scheduled August recess.

Related: American Airlines warns as many as 20,000 could lose jobs

Featured image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

--

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From The Points Guy

The Points Guy
The Points Guy
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon