CHICAGO — In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis decimating the airline industry, United Airlines said it's planning to cut its management and administrative workforce by at least 30 percent by October 1, affecting approximately 3,400 employees.
"We have to acknowledge that there will be serious consequences to our company if we don’t continue to take strong and decisive action, which includes making decisions that none of us ever wanted or expected to make," wrote Kate Gebo, executive vice president of human resources and labor relations, in a memo to employees.
In her memo, Gebo asked United's nearly 12,000 management and administrative employees — most based in Chicago — to consider leaving the company on their own in the next few months and take advantage of a "robust benefits package." The memo said that affected employees will be notified in mid to late July, with layoffs effective October 1.
United (Nasdaq: UAL) has been battered by Covid-19, and late last month, the airline reported a first-quarter loss of $1.7 billion. CEO Oscar Munoz called the current situation "the worst financial crisis in aviation history" in the company's quarterly earnings release.
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