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United Airlines plans to cut 109 jobs at Tampa International Aiport

The number includes 47 Tampa-based flight attendants.
Credit: JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images
An airport worker walks through the United Airlines terminal at O'Hare International Airport on April 12, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. United Airlines has been criticized in recent days after airport police officers physically removed passenger Dr. David Dao from his seat and dragged him off the airplane, after he was requested to give up his seat for United Airline crew members on a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky Sunday night. / AFP PHOTO / Joshua LOTT

TAMPA, Fla. — United Airlines expects to lay off as many as 109 workers around Oct. 1 at Tampa International Airport as the coronavirus pandemic severely hampers the company's operations, it said in a letter to the state.

It comes as U.S. passenger airline companies ask congressional lawmakers for an extension of a $32 billion payroll aid program, according to CNBC. With the program set to expire Sept. 30, they warn layoffs "will eclipse those of any furloughs the industry has ever seen."

Airlines were given the federal money to help keep workers employed and agreed not to lay people off before October in hopes of a recovery.

United, in its letter to Florida under the WARN Act, said it is "hopeful" the job losses are temporary but may last six months or longer. It noted the company is spending more than is being brought in from demand for travel, which probably won't improve until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed.

The losses include 10 customer service representatives, 36 ramp service employees, one station operations representative, one storekeeper, 13 line technicians, one quality assurance aircraft inspector (line) and 47 flight attendants.

Affected employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement could opt to "bump" someone of lower seniority.

United is asking its employees "to consider whether one of the voluntary programs being offered is a viable option for them and their families. Meaningful participation in these programs could significantly reduce the need for involuntary furloughs."

United also told Florida officials it plans to cut 447 jobs at Orlando International Airport. Spirit Airlines in its own filing said 946 workers could be cut at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

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