United Airlines cutting one-third of management: report

United Airlines cutting one-third of management: report
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United Airlines will cut about 30 percent of management staff in October in response to the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on demand for air travel.

Under the terms of federal government aid the Chicago-based airline accepted, it is barred from making job or pay cuts before Sept. 30, but management warned that demand will likely remain low into the fall, according to a Reuters report, citing a company memo.

“We have to acknowledge that there will be serious consequences to our company if we don’t continue to take strong and decisive action, which includes making decisions that none of us ever wanted or expected to make,” Kate Gebo, Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Labor Relations, said in the memo, which went out to about 11,500 management and administrative employees.

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The memo states that all employees affected by the cut will be notified by mid- to late July, Gebo said.

In a second memo, the airline warned pilots to brace for a potential “displacement” slated to affect up to 30 percent of the company’s roughly 12,250 pilots, according to the report.

“Travel demand is essentially zero for the foreseeable future and, even with federal assistance that covers a portion of our payroll expense through Sept. 30, we anticipate spending billions of dollars more than we take in for the next several months, while continuing to employ 100% of our workforce,” United spokesman Frank Benenati said in an email to The Hill.

“That’s not sustainable for any company. And that’s why we are doing everything we can to reduce costs in the near-term so we can bounce back quickly when demand starts to return and help ensure our company and the jobs it supports will be here when customers are flying again," he continued.

Leslie Scott, a United Airlines spokeswoman, told Reuters the carrier sent memos to several workgroups about short-term changes and what they could mean for the long term.