Trouble may be on the horizon for employees of American Airlines.
On Wednesday, two top American AIrlines executives released a memo to employees stating the company will let up to 25,000 employees know they may be facing potential furlough on October 1. Around 10,000 flight attendants and 2,500 pilots are among them.
The memo, from CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom, said that the airline hopes to avoid some of those furloughs.
"We hope to reduce the actual number of furloughs significantly through enhanced leave and early-out programs for represented workgroups, which we are announcing today," the statement said.
Although the federal bailout helped buffer layoffs, involuntary furloughs, and pay cuts for employees of the airline industry, that relief will no longer apply on October 1, leading company executives to admit they will make cuts, up to an estimated one third of jobs.
"We know American will be smaller going forward, and we must right-size all aspects of our airline to adjust to that new reality," the memo said.
Because the coronavirus is still causing travel inhibitions, Paker and Isom are taking advantage of a union-led effort to lobby Congress into prolonging the CARES Act. Originally, the Act was set to end near the beginning of October but has since been extended through March 2021. The CARES Act has provided relief money to such unions, with the extension occuring because of "much longer impact of the pandemic than was anticipated when the CARES Act was enacted."
United Airlines has also given caution to half its frontline workforce, saying up to 36,000 employees would be furloughed later this fall.
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