Yesterday, as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, United Airlines informed the IAM that 12,645 District 141-represented workers could be furloughed as soon as October 1, 2020. It is important to understand that not all workers who will receive notices of potential furlough under the WARN Act are certain to be laid off. The WARN Act requires that workers be notified at least 60 days in advance of a possible layoff. Employees working in NY, NJ, CA and IL will receive individual WARN notices which were mailed by United Airlines yesterday.
The IAM-United contracts outline the exact process of a reduction in force. When a reduction in force does take place, it will be our contracts that guide the process.
IAM District 141 representatives have been in ongoing discussions with United management to develop voluntary programs to lessen the impact of furloughs.
The IAM is also working to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP) component of the CARES Act to March 31, 2021. If we are successful, there would be no layoffs until at least that date.
Please click here to contact your elected officials to demand the PSP extension.
Sisters and Brothers, we are in very unstable and worrisome times. While there are certainly more passengers flying today than in late March, we are still at only 25 percent of 2019 passenger levels. And due to a lack of a coordinated national response to the coronavirus pandemic, rising infection rates in the US and several state-mandated quarantines, there is great risk that a significant rebound in air travel demand will not occur soon enough. As I have said before, we must prepare for furloughs this fall.
Please know that the IAM will do all that we can to lessen the impact of furloughs. We will continue to work with the Company and any developments will be immediately reported to the membership.
Please visit our DL141 website at IAM141.org, or our official District Facebook page for updates and accurate information. There are some on social media who continue to trade in fearmongering and outright misinformation. It is unfortunate that some of our own are preying on our Sisters and Brothers’ emotions during this most stressful time for their own twisted and misguided political reasons.
We have faced tough challenges as a union before. Each time we have been tested, our common bonds and solidarity have been the driving principles that have led us forward and made us stronger. We must not allow fear, petty differences or inflammatory rhetoric to divide us.
This is a time for unity, not division.
Michael G. Klemm
President and Directing General Chairman
District 141, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
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