United Executive Says Some Employees Should Leave Voluntarily

It was a harsh note, but this is the reality of the aviation sector these days.

United Airlines Chief Operating Officer Greg Hart sent a memo to some employees telling them to consider leaving the company voluntarily, with the unsaid – but implied – alternative being laid off or terminated come Sept. 30.

That’s the date that airlines agreed they would not lay off or furlough employees until if they accepted stimulus package grants from the federal government.

CNN Business was able to obtain the memo.

“You may want to seriously consider if you’re in a position to take a voluntary separation,” Hart wrote. He added, “You, alone, can decide if a [Voluntary Separation Program] works for you and your family.”

Hart said executive salaries have been cut and that the airline is trying to be transparent with its rank-and-file workforce.

“We recognize that this is painful news, but it provides what we believe is the most accurate assessment of what lies ahead for our company,” he said.

Like every airline worldwide, United has cut its schedule by 90 percent as demand for travel has plummeted due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The Chicago-based carrier reported a first-quarter net loss of $1.7 billion last week, its first quarterly loss in six years.

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