United Airlines has warned around 14,000 employees that they might be at risk of losing jobs after the end of the second round of federal aid this spring. The company said that the coronavirus pandemic has hit the aviation industry hard and it still weighs heavily on travel outlook. The company has informed employees as it is legally required to update them two months in advance about any such possible scenario. However, it does not at all mean that the employees will be ultimately furloughed by the company. But the airline is taking various voluntary measures to reduce the number of employees.
Meanwhile, American and United Airlines started recalling employees they had furloughed after the expiry of the first round of government payroll aid. Additional aid was announced for the industry by Congress. But on the condition that the furloughed employees will be called back and their payrolls will be maintained till the end of March. United categorically told workers that the rollback will not be permanent. It had fired around 13,000 employees in the fall after the first aid of USD 25 billion expired last year. Two union leaders have not requested congressional leaders to take quick action and extend the payroll support program. “The only alternative is the mass layoffs in April,” said Union leaders Julie Hedrick and Sara Nelson.
The airline said that the efforts of vaccination have not resulted in an increase in a number of air passengers since we recalled furloughed employees. “When we started the recalls, the airline said that most of the employees will be taken back at the previous status.” Similar notices have been sent by some other airlines. Hawaiian Airlines has also warned that around 900 workers can lose their jobs when aid expires. According to a memo by a flight attendant union, some employees of American Airlines are likely to get similar notices soon.