Southwest Airlines said on Monday it really is asking unions to concur to pay for cuts in order to prevent furloughs and layoffs through 2021 as the industry struggles to stem losses from the coronavirus pandemic in the absence of more aid that is federal.
Unions represent about 83% of roughly 61,000 Southwest employees. Non-union staff salaries may be cut by 10% until Jan. 1, 2022, whenever they will return to the degree that is current.
“Our goals are to get this to quick and simple and avoid furloughs,” Chief Executive Gary Kelly said in an meeting.
The union representing Southwest pilots said it had tentatively agreed to meet up with and discuss cost savings if a second relief that is COVID-19 doesn’t pass in Washington. The journey attendants and mechanics unions did not comment immediately.
Rivals American Airlines (O:AAL) and United Airlines (O:UAL) began furloughing 32,000 employees week that is final a ban on job cuts expired without another $25 billion in federal payroll support that airlines have been seeking.
Southwest, which hasn’t furloughed any workers, has said it may have to check out suit as atmosphere travel remains down 70%.
“We would have to wipe out a sizable swath of salaries, wages and benefits to match the traffic that is low, to possess any hope of just breaking even,” Kelly told employees, warning that quarterly losses could be in the billions until a effective vaccine is widely available.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said an airline deal had been “imminent,” and talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for the broad stimulus that is economic were continuing this week.
If federal help passes, Southwest would reverse any pay cuts. Without it, cost savings must certanly be in place for all employee groups by Jan. 1, 2021, said Kelly, who is reducing his salary that is base to through the end of 2021 and continuing a 20% cut in senior executives’ pay through next year. Southwest Airlines said on Monday it really is asking unions for a boost.
Airlines Southwest that is including have jets and scaled back their flight schedules so as to match 1970s levels of demand.
But with a stronger balance sheet than most rivals, Southwest is playing offense he expects will see “brutal low fare competition. as it tries to open new routes and pick up clients in a market”
“We do not need furloughs, but we require some cost reductions,” Kelly said.