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United Airlines, pilots union deal avoids pilot layoffs

United Airlines, pilots union deal avoids pilot layoffs
Posted at 4:44 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 16:44:10-04

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) announced that they agreed with United Airlines not to furlough any of its pilots.

In a press statement, the ALPA said the agreement keeps all 13,000 pilots employed and cancels the 2,850 previously announced layoffs.

The planned layoffs were to take place Thursday when the CARES Act pandemic payroll support expired, USA reported.

The Cares Act provided a $50 billion bailout to keep US airlines afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers are looking to extend the program by introducing a new bill to protect workers' jobs until March 31.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Air Carrier Worker Support Extension Act of 2020 last week.

"The CARES Act successfully saved thousands of jobs that support the airline industry and provided these businesses with some breathing space after the drastic drop in air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Wicker in a press release. "However, the market has not turned around as much as we had hoped, and additional relief is needed to prevent more than 60,000 aviation sector employees from losing their jobs beginning October 1. This legislation would extend the critical Payroll Support Program to provide support for passenger air carriers, cargo air carriers, and aviation contractors. It would also preserve our nationwide service by requiring airlines to maintain routes as a condition for receiving assistance. Maintaining a strong national air transportation system is critical for today's economy and the continued recovery."

The ALPA says the deal also offers pilots over the age of 50 with 10 years of experience second round of first separation options. It would also reduce or terminate the effect of temporary work reductions based on a recovery in passenger demand or other market factors, the ALPA said.