United Airlines said it is planning to cut about 16,000 jobs next month after federal aid to airline companies is set to expire.
United was one of the airlines that received federal funding under the CARES Act, which prevented involuntary staff cuts by the end of September.
United said that the CARES Act Payroll Protection Plan extension can stop the furloughs, adding that its officials can be in communication with Congress and the White House.
"To be clear, an extension [of the program] would be the one thing that would prevent involuntary furloughs on October 1," the memo said, "and hopefully delay any potential impact on employees until early 2021." It noted that many United Airlines workers petitioned their representatives in Congress for an extension.
Negotiations between top Democrats and the White House have mostly stalled in recent weeks. On the table includes stimulus payments, extended unemployment benefits, and an extension of the payroll plan, among other measures.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking to Congress on Tuesday, called for another round of pandemic relief measures to be passed in a bipartisan manner. Both he and President Donald Trump said the struggling airline industry would need more assistance.
It came about a week after American Airlines announced it will have to cut about 19,000 jobs, citing similar concerns as United.
“We don't have to snap everybody back at the same time,” he told the paper. “We can basically build our workforce as we need it and as our schedule grows and as demand recovers.”
United has not responded to a request for comment.