Airline workers brace for mass layoffs

Detroit (AP) – Concerns are mounting for United Airlines flight attendant Jordi Cuomix.

In a few days, it will join about 40,000 airline workers whose jobs are likely to steam up in an industry plagued by the coronavirus epidemic.

United will sue Comex on Thursday, cutting its income and health insurance until Congress takes action a second time to help. Unemployment and the money made by her husband, a home health nurse, will not be enough to pay the bills, including rent near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

“I don’t have enough, unfortunately, to get through,” said Comex, a 1-year-old who has worked for United for four years. “No one knows what’s next and how to prepare.”

Since the epidemic hit, thousands of flight attendants, baggage handlers, gate agents and others have been receiving at least partial salaries through દેશ 25 billion in grants and loans to the country’s airlines. To get help, the companies agreed not to lay off employees until September 30. That “payroll support program” will help many people and help maintain health care and other benefits.

They are all out on Thursday.

With air travel nearly 70% lower than last year, many carriers, including United and American, say they will be forced to cut jobs without additional assistance. Delta and Southwest, two other major carriers, tap private capital markets and say they will avoid layoffs.

Industry analysts say air travel and business keeping workers close to home has brought an unprecedented crisis to the industry. Resulting in catastrophic damage. The four major US airlines – Delta, United, American and Southwest – lost a combined 10 billion in the second quarter alone. Fewer airline passengers mean less demand for rental car, hotel and rest restaurant rentals. With demand for new aircraft coming down, aircraft maker Boeing has also cut thousands of jobs.

“This is the strongest demand for commercial aviation in human history,” said Burkett Hugh, a Morningstar aviation analyst.

The International Air Transport Association on Tuesday lowered its full-year traffic forecast. The business group for airlines around the world now expects 2020 air travel to be 66% lower than in 2019, down 63% from its previous estimate.

European airlines have anticipated years of trouble and are rushing to cut jobs despite receiving government rescue loans.

Germany’s Lufthansa received a 9 billion euro government bailout, but announced an extra round of cuts after a summer bump in a vacation trip in September. The company has parked its jumbo jet and plans to eliminate 22,000 full-time positions. British Airways’ parent company IAG has said it will cut 12,000 of its 42,000 employees.

U.S. In, Congress is considering a second round of aircraft assistance For weeks, but it has stalled in the discussion of a larger national relief package. The airline for America Trade Group said Monday’s House proposal raised some hopes as Democrats and Republicans appear to be talking. Leoffs can be delayed if a deal is imminent.

Tony Valentine, a 41-year-old United reservation agent in Detroit who has been with the airline for 15 years, has been told she will be released this week. She has six children between the ages of 2 and 22, and her husband cannot work because he has recovered from a massive stroke.

“I know I will not get insurance benefits, I think I have failed,” he said in a conference call by the Machinists Union. “I am the primary benefactor of this family.”

Before the epidemic, airlines were prosperous. The planes were full, profits were fat and workers were getting more overtime checks. This helped Valentine, who said he works 80 hours a week, but he barely makes it after her husband’s illness.

Now, his 19-year-old son has left college to help support the family, he said. “We are crying for help and no one is listening,” he said.

Tevita Utaf was also a major beneficiary of overtime pay, working 60 hours a week loading luggage and aircraft for American Airlines in Dallas. He and his wife, who have a similar fleet service job, earned enough to buy a house and a new car in January.

Then came the epidemic. Overtime is gone. Utafe and his wife cut costs and rushed to replace them so that someone could stay at home to oversee distance education for their two sons and niece.

But when Thursday comes, the two are likely to get only part-time hours, meaning their household income could be halved. “We can’t afford our mortgage, car payments, our other utilities.”

They also fear that they will not be able to replicate and deduct health care. They looked for a job, but in a high-unemployment market, “there is nothing for us right now,” he said.

Ally Malis, an American Airlines flight attendant in Washington DC, will also face scattering on Thursday. “I don’t have a plan B at the moment,” he said.

With the omission of early retirements and other incentives, U.S. The airlines have lost about 45,000 jobs or jobs, including car carriers, during the epidemic. However, government figures are only available until July.

Compare that with the first six months after September 11, 2001, when terrorist attacks, when more than 90,000 jobs were cut by passenger and cargo airlines, and employment fell for the next two years.

Even after two decades, the airline’s employment is still not fully recovered. Malis said American will not hire any new flight attendants until 2013, as it is still recalling laid-offs.

While epidemics in the airlines industry can account for about 20% of total employees when calculating the next round of cuts, there are other areas that suffer the most, including the restaurant, bar and hotel industries. Since February, coronavirus U.S. Before being caught in, as of August, these businesses were gaining about 8.8 million jobs, or about 22% of employment, according to federal figures.

Flight attendants will be most affected if the airlines go on strike this week, said Sawant Sith, an airline analyst at Raymond James.

The pilots may not be affected as the airlines want to avoid the cost of retraining them once they are in rehab. On Monday, United Airlines pilots ratified the agreement Unions and airlines say they will avoid about 2,850 furloughs implemented later this week and 1,000 more early next year.

It is anyone’s guess when air travel will recover from the epidemic and even if the airlines can fly through the storm. Morningstar expects the vaccine to be available by the end of this year with widespread distribution by mid-2021, but recovery may still take years.

ComAux hopes his union, the Association of Flight Attendants, can successfully lobby Congress for help in the next few days. Many United Flight Attendants, he said, took special leaves without pay to save others jobs.

“How long will it take us to get back and go?” He asked. “That’s the really hard part.”


Chrisher reported from Detroit. Busewitz from New York reported. The report was co-authored by David Koenig, author of AP Airlines in Dallas and Jennifer Farrar, an AP researcher in New York, and Monica Mathur in Washington.