Hundreds of Cleveland airline employees may be furloughed this week; employers say it’s because of slow government

Hundreds of Cleveland airline employees may be furloughed this week

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Hundreds of Express Jet and United Airlines staff from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport may lose their jobs this week, and their employers say it’s due to lack of progression on a pandemic relief package with more federal aid for airlines.

United said the government standstill forced the company to furlough 13,000 workers.

United said it told leaders in the Trump administration and Congress that if payroll aid is approved in the next few days, it too could undo the furloughs, the Associated Press reports.

The airlines and their labor unions are asking for aid to finance their employee payroll for the next six months.

United Airlines announced 466 potential employment separations at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport earlier this summer.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport’s ExpressJet Airlines may furlough or lay off 95 employees.

Although the separations begin today, the number of affected employees is expected to decrease due to negotiations.

Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group Airlines for America, told the AP that Thursday will be an important day amid these negotiations.

“Ideally, if it’s going to go beyond Thursday they will be close to a deal and say, ‘Hang on for a couple days,’ and we can wait,” he said. “Beyond that, the notices have gone and furloughs will go into effect.”

AP reports U.S. air travel is 70% of what it was this time last year.

Congress approved $25 billion in mostly grants for airline employee payroll earlier this year. A second $25 billion was granted in loans for other purposes.

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