American Airlines is poised to cut 19,000 jobs on October 1, when the parameters of the CARES Act are removed – unless the stimulus package that included grants and loans for the airline industry is extended.
American made the announcement on Monday in a letter to employees, according to our sister publication Travel Weekly.
American received $5.8 billion from the CARES Act issued by the federal government in March to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the airline industry. As part of accepting the grants and loans, airlines had to agree not to cut jobs or payroll until Oct. 1.
In a letter to employees, American CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said that even with more than 23,000 employees accepting early retirement, regular retirement, or agreeing to leaves of absences for the month of October, the airline still needs to eliminate 19,000 positions.
USA Today reported that the figure includes 17,500 current workers and 1,500 management and administrative workers already laid off.
“Today is the hardest message we have had to share so far – the announcement of involuntary staffing reductions effective Oct. 1,” Parker and Isom said in the letter.
They encouraged employees to call their representatives in the hopes of getting the CARES Act extended immediately through March 31, 2021, a move that President Trump supports but which Congress seems bogged down on.
All totaled, experts expect the loss of 70,000 industry jobs after Oct. 1 if there is no extension of the Payroll Support
“The coming weeks and months will be some of the most difficult we have ever faced,” Parker and Isom wrote. “No matter how challenging they seem, remember this: The American Airlines team is no stranger to adversity, and in adversity, we always come through. We will come out on the other side of this crisis. Demand will return. Team members will be recalled. The world will find its new normal, and when it does, American is going to be there. Until then, take heart that we will get through this together. The professionalism and care this team has shown over the past six months has been nothing short of extraordinary. We are all American Airlines, and we will survive, and one day, thrive again. Thank you for all you are doing now, and tomorrow, to carry us through.”
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