United Airlines Pilots Accept Deal To Avoid Furloughs

United Airlines pilots have approved a deal to avoid furlough of thousands of pilots at least until June 2021.

The Air Line Pilots Association said that the agreement keeps all 13,000 United pilots employed and cancels the 2,850 previously announced furloughs.

According to the union, the deal also offers a second round of early separation options for all pilots age 50+ with 10 years of experience and reduces or terminates the effect of temporary work reductions based on a recovery in passenger demand or other market factors.

“With this agreement now solidified, we will turn our focus back to Congress to secure a much-needed CARES Act extension to keep our industry solvent until we recover from this pandemic,” said Todd Insler, United ALPA Master Executive Council chairman.

United Airlines said earlier this month that it planned to furlough 16,370 employees in October, due to continuing losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic and collapse in air travel.

The potential furloughs was fewer than 36,000 jobs loss the airline warned in July. That was because thousands of workers took early retirement, buyouts, or long-term leaves of absence.

United reportedly had said the furloughs would begin October 1, when a prohibition on furloughs ends. The furloughs would be postponed if the U.S. approves another $25 billion to help passenger airlines cover payroll costs.

United’s job cuts included 6,920 flight attendants, but the flight attendants’ union said earlier this month more than 15,000 flight attendants would be off United Airlines’ payroll on October 1st if Congress fails to extend the Payroll Support Program.

United and other airlines had took $25 billion in federal payroll support that prohibit the airlines to lay off, furlough or cut the pay rates of their employees until October 1.

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