American Airlines to warn pilots this week of possible departures

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American Airlines plans to warn pilots this week about potential holidays, the latest carrier to prepare employees for layoffs as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts the airline industry.Terms of the $ 25 billion federal aid against coronaviruses prohibit carriers from laying off workers or cutting wages until September 30, but weak demand has forced airlines to shrink to cut costs.

The Workers Rehabilitation and Retraining Notices Act requires employers to notify staff of layoffs or temporary departures generally 60 days in advance and employees who receive these warnings are not guaranteed to be laid off .

American has some 15,000 pilots and has already offered early retirement packages as part of an agreement with the Allied Pilots Association, their union.

“We expect WARN notifications to be sent out next week,” said Chip Long, chief operating officer of the American airline, in a July 10 audio message heard by CNBC. “Once again, our hope is to engage very soon with APA and to seriously explore all the opportunities to take care of our pilots while taking care of our airline. ”

The exact number of pilots who would receive the notices was not immediately clear. The American did not comment. Delta, for its part, has warned more than 2,500 pilots about potential holidays, while United has informed more than 2,200 of its pilots.

Earlier this month, an American based in Fort Worth, Texas, said that about 20,000 people were missing from his reduced fall schedule. This includes up to 8,000 flight attendants. Other working groups in addition to pilots may receive WARN notices.

Airline leaders urge employees to buy buy-backs and early retirement packages, but also warned that they should turn to vacation and layoffs if there aren’t enough volunteers .

United last week told nearly 36,000 workers – almost 40% of its workforce – that they could be put on leave.

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