United COO tells employees to consider voluntary separation.


Jun 28, 2003
Dallas, TX
He didn't actually say that. What he said was "consider voluntary separation and whether or not the employee is in a position to take that course of action. (They used to call it quitting your job.) For those of you at United remember that under the law if you leave your job voluntarily, you are not eligible to collect unemployment benefits unless the law is/has been modified to handle the vast number of virus-related job losses. He stated that the airline must be "right-sized to fit the coming reductions in flights which will require fewer employees to operate.

And, so it begins.... However I didn't think it would start with United because all the airlines have cut staff where possible. United's financial must be worse off than I have read about.

For those of you who may be confused by the latest terminology--such as right-sizing...

The old term, downsizing, (which is not what United is doing) means that managers are also losing their jobs.:eek::rolleyes:

Footnote 1: I learned this small, but telling difference when I was in the IT department at Texaco. Programmers were being laid off so that management staff, some of whom had not programmed in years, could be put in those jobs.
Management got their terms overnight and my email's been on fire ever since.... 20 days forced unpaid time off, and a 30% headcount reduction (possibly higher) coming on 10/1. Vacation buys from the last round of voluntary packages were revoked, and everyone's expected to use 50% of their 2020 vacation before 9/30.

The poignant part of the new terms... "no cash severance" for management employees who get laid off involuntarily come October. The message on that seems to be "leave on your own terms with something, or be prepared to be pushed out the door without a parachute." Nobody is sure yet if that simply means no pay continuance but some benefits or travel.
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Yikes. UAL would still have to payout any remaining vacation balances though, correct? Aren't those accruals part of an employee's (management or not) compensation package?
I'd think so. I'm assuming that by asking everyone to use up time before 9/30, that would reduce exposure to the cash outlay come 10/1.

This is indeed new territory from past downturns...
That business of "20 days forced unpaid time off" Does that mean just sit at home and not get paid for it? Does the employee get to pick the days off? Might not be so bad. You have normal days off for a desk jockey (i.e. Saturday and Sunday). Then you take Monday, Tuesday and Friday for your other days off. Voila! A 2-day work week even if it is only for about 6 weeks.
From the email sent yesterday, the office locations are closing down on Fridays thru September, and everyone goes down to 32 hours a week pay.
I’m pretty sure the hammer is gonna drop across all carriers in Oct. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I’m trying to plan accordingly. Lots of people still seem to think this’ll all blow over by Labor Day.

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