United Airlines expands Furlough mitigation efforts
3 September 2009
United Airlines announced that as of October 16, 322 employees represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) have taken advantage of the Early Out and Voluntary Furlough programs agreed to by the company and the union.
Since July, when United announced significant capacity reductions, resulting in the need for 7,000 fewer positions, the company has been working with all unions representing its employees to explore viable alternatives to reduce furloughs. More than 1,500 flight attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants have taken advantage of a voluntary furlough program, completely eliminating the need for involuntary furloughs for flight attendants. The company also offered furlough mitigation to pilots and mechanics, and approximately 200 pilots and 100 mechanics have taken advantage of the program to date.
“In this challenging economic environment, we are focused on working with our unions to identify options that work for our employees and our business, and we are pleased we have been able to limit the number of involuntary furloughs, protecting jobs for our people,” said Scott Dolan, senior vice president – Airport Operations and Cargo.
The IAM programs, which were initially offered in July and again in September, have so far reduced the number of involuntary furloughs among IAM employees by nearly 40 percent. Eligible participants will receive benefits such as severance payments based on years of service and travel benefits.