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The airline and unions are also asking that the latest stimulus package include a clean six-month extension of funding for the Payroll Support Program, which requires airlines to keep their employees on the payroll through Oct. 1.
“Without additional funding for the PSP grants, up to 16,000 members of the United family are at risk of involuntary furloughs beginning October 1st,” United CEO Scott Kirby wrote Friday. “Continuation of this critical program would prevent the furloughs and provide additional time for the industry to reach recovery without losing our colleagues to involuntary furloughs.”
While United says it is working around the clock to reach deals with its unions to avoid as many involuntarily furloughs as possible, the airline warned they will be “unavoidable” without additional financial support from the federal government.
“We recognize the severe impact the virus is having on our entire economy and the need for support touches many other individuals, organizations and programs. Assistance now can help to lessen the long-term impact to the economy and ultimately speed recovery,” Kirby added. “The sooner Congress and the Administration can come together again and reach an agreement, the better United and the entire industry’s chances of keeping employees and returning the economic benefits we provide for the larger economy.”