Coronavirus economy: United Airlines eyes mammoth Bay Area job cuts - The Mercury News

United Airlines has issued a formal notice to state officials that the reeling air carrier intends to chop more than 6,000 jobs at San Francisco International Airport through temporary furloughs, dealing a fresh blow to a Bay Area region attempting to battle the economic effects of the coronavirus.

The air carrier said it intends to lay off 6,573 workers at the airport, according to an official notice filed with the state’s Employment Development Department — although the airline believes it will be able to reduce the total number of furloughs in the Bay Area and California.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on travel demand and on our business,” Kate Gebo, vice president of human resources and labor relations, wrote in a letter to the EDD.

United Airlines had warned in recent days that it might have to lay off 36,000 employees out of its workforce of 96,000 after fears and restrictions related to the coronavirus had chased off countless travelers.

The airline partly blamed the layoffs on federal, state and local government-ordered shutdowns and mandates.

“Governmental restrictions on travel, stay-at-home orders and the lack of a medical solution for the virus brought bookings and demand for travel to a near standstill,” Gebo wrote

In California, including the job cuts at San Francisco International Airport, United Airlines intends to lay off 8,400 workers.

The Bay Area furloughs are slated to occur by Oct. 1, the official WARN notice revealed.

Officials with United Airlines said the furloughs detailed in the notice should be viewed as a ceiling number and not the actual total for the employment losses.

“We expect to offset these numbers through increased participation in new and existing voluntary programs as well as continued discussions with our union partners about creative ways to help reduce furloughs,” said Annabelle Cottee, a senior manager for West
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