United Airlines to furlough up to 36,000 frontline employees in October

United Airlines announced Wednesday that as it faces its biggest crisis in company history, it is prepared to furlough 45% of its U.S. based workers, almost 36,000 employees.

United is prohibited from any involuntary layoffs until Oct. 1 because of the funding it receives from the Payroll Support Program under the CARES Act.

The airline says it has taken numerous measures to cut spending and avoid layoffs, such as cutting executive pay and establishing hiring freezes.

Notices will be sent to all potentially affected employees this week, according to United.

Layoffs for frontline employees will be based on seniority and based on performance for management and administrative employees

United says 3,700 employees have already agreed to separation packages.

The number of layoffs could change depending on if more employees take voluntary layoffs, or if demand changes in the fall.

The following data is a potential breakdown of the layoffs according to United:
  • 2,250 pilots
  • 15,100 flight attendants
  • 11,082 customer service/ gate agents
  • 808 catering employees
  • 983 reservations employees
  • 222 network operations employees
  • 5,457 maintenance tech ops
  • 2,700 admin jobs (1,300 have already agreed on separation packages)

Total: 35,902
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