Airlines become latest companies to furlough employees due to pandemic

New numbers Thursday show another 837,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims last week, down from the peak of the pandemic but still very high. There are now 11.8 million people receiving unemployment benefits.

News 12 Staff

Oct 2, 2020, 2:13 AM

Updated 1,386 days ago

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New numbers Thursday show another 837,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims last week, down from the peak of the pandemic but still very high. There are now 11.8 million people receiving unemployment benefits.
Some of those cuts hit the airline industry Thursday.
JetBlue Airlines says it has suspended flights to and from Stewart International Airport until further notice.
They say it's because of a deep decline in revenue and the uncertain path of air travel demand.
On top of this, 32,000 airline employees now face an uncertain future.
American Airlines sent out a letter saying 19,000 of its workers are now being furloughed. And at United Airlines, 60% of the airline's employees are in that same boat —with over 13,000 of them furloughed.
It's all happening because the Payroll Support Program under the CARES Act just expired. It provided federal pandemic relief.
Both American and United airlines told employees that the furloughs could be reversed, but that's only if Congress and the White House can quickly fund the struggling airline industry.
The CEO of American Airlines sent a letter to workers saying, "I spoke late today with the Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. He informed me that the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are continuing to negotiate on a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that would include an extension of the PSP and it is possible they could reach an agreement in the coming days."


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