A Message From Oscar Munoz, Scott Kirby and Labor Leadership
March 20, 2020
CHICAGO, March 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer, J. Scott Kirby, President, and labor leaders today issued the following message to nearly 100,000 United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) employees:
To our United family:
We hope you and your loved ones are well.
In these difficult and uncertain times, we want to continue to keep you updated about all the ways we are aggressively managing the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on our company.
Since you last heard from Oscar and Scott on Sunday, companies around the world, especially in the travel industry, have announced painful steps they've been forced to take to deal with this crisis. Marriott shuttered a number of properties around the world, furloughing tens of thousands of workers. MGM Resorts also closed facilities and will begin furloughs next week. Scandinavian Airlines announced temporary layoffs for 90% of its staff.
In Sunday's message, Oscar and Scott were very direct about just how dire this situation has become and what the company is doing to minimize the impact on you, your families and your paycheck.
Importantly, today's message to all of you is co-signed by many of our labor union partners – and includes a specific request for actions you can take to help.
In recent years, and together with our labor leaders, United has made significant investments in our people and created tens of thousands of high-quality jobs. And we are together now, doing everything possible to protect those jobs.
Earlier this week, we jointly signed a letter to leaders in the federal government calling for bipartisan action by the Administration and the United States Congress to support you, the men and women of United Airlines. Oscar and our partners in organized labor have been front-and-center in Washington D.C. for the past month, leading the charge to educate our representatives about the severe impact COVID-19 has had on our business and all of you.
While many in Washington, D.C. now realize the gravity of this situation, time is running out. The airline has made a number of drastic cuts over the last several weeks to reduce our costs: including slashing capital spending, freezing hiring, cutting payments to contractors and vendors, eliminating all discretionary spending and even cutting our corporate officers' salary by 50% while reducing Oscar and Scott's salary to zero.
However, as travel demand continues to plummet, even more cost-cutting measures will be required soon to keep our company afloat. To be specific, if Congress doesn't act on sufficient government support by the end of March, our company will begin to take the necessary steps to reduce our payroll in line with the 60% schedule reduction we announced for April. May's schedule is likely to be cut even further.
To that end, it's time for our representatives to hear from all of you.
Your voice matters - whether you work on the ramp, greet customers in the lobby, take calls in our contact centers, prepare food for passengers, service our planes or fly on our aircraft - and our representatives in government need to understand what's at stake if they do not act.
Please consider sending a letter or email to your representatives in Washington, D.C. urging them to take quick, bipartisan action to protect airline jobs.
There's one other important way for you to pitch in and help. Thousands of United employees have applied for a company offered leave of absence - which is an important way to help the company reduce costs. As we continue to reduce our schedule, we will continue to offer additional COLA opportunities so if you have not already applied, please consider doing so.
None of us caused COVID-19. But we continue to be among the most severely affected by the economic impact of this crisis, due to the outbreak's breathtaking effect on travel demand.
The hard work you do every day matters. And the role you play in the U.S. economy matters. It's time for the people of United Airlines to put a face on what will happen if the federal government does not act.
Thank you for all you are doing for our customers and each other during this extraordinary time.
Oscar and Scott
Captain David Bourne
Director Airline Division
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
MEC President, United Airlines Master Executive Council
Association of Flight Attendants - CWA
General Vice President
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Professional Airline Flight Control Association
United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." We are more focused than ever on our commitment to customers through a series of innovations and improvements designed to help build a great experience: Every customer. Every flight. Every day. Together, United and United Express operate approximately 4,900 flights a day to 362 airports across six continents. In 2019, United and United Express operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 162 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 791 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express partners operate 581 regional aircraft. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 26 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Certain statements in this release are forward-looking and thus reflect the Company's current expectations and beliefs with respect to certain current and future events and anticipated financial and operating performance. Such forward-looking statements are and will be subject to many risks and uncertainties relating to the Company's operations and business environment that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Words such as "expects," "will," "plans," "anticipates," "indicates," "remains," "believes," "estimates," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook," "goals," "targets" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Additionally, forward-looking statements include statements that do not relate solely to historical facts, such as statements which identify uncertainties or trends, discuss the possible future effects of current known trends or uncertainties, or which indicate that the future effects of known trends or uncertainties cannot be predicted, guaranteed or assured. All forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to the Company on the date of this release. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
The Company's actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to numerous factors including, without limitation, the following: the Company's ability to execute its strategic operating plan, including its growth, revenue-generating and cost-control initiatives; general economic conditions (including interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, investment or credit market conditions, crude oil prices, costs of aircraft fuel and energy refining capacity in relevant markets); risks of doing business globally, including instability and political developments that may impact its operations in certain countries; demand for travel and the impact that global economic and political conditions have on customer travel patterns; the Company's capacity decisions and the capacity decisions of its competitors; competitive pressures on pricing and on demand; changes in aircraft fuel prices; disruptions in the Company's supply of aircraft fuel; the Company's ability to cost-effectively hedge against increases in the price of aircraft fuel, if it decides to do so; the effects of any technology failures, cybersecurity or significant data breaches; disruptions to services provided by third-party service providers; potential reputational or other impact from adverse events involving the Company's aircraft or operations, the aircraft or operations of its regional carriers or its code share partners or the aircraft or operations of another airline; the Company's ability to attract and retain customers; the effects of any terrorist attacks, international hostilities or other security events, or the fear of such events; the mandatory grounding of aircraft in the Company's fleet; disruptions to the Company's regional network; the impact of regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks; the success of the Company's investments in other airlines, including in other parts of the world; industry consolidation or changes in airline alliances; the ability of other air carriers with whom the Company has alliances or partnerships to provide the services contemplated by the respective arrangements with such carriers; costs associated with any modification or termination of the Company's aircraft orders; disruptions in the availability of aircraft, parts or support from its suppliers; the Company's ability to maintain satisfactory labor relations and the results of any collective bargaining agreement process with its union groups; any disruptions to operations due to any potential actions by the Company's labor groups; labor costs; the existing outbreak of coronavirus and the outbreak of any other disease or similar public health threat that affects travel demand or travel behavior, such as the existing threat of COVID-19; the impact of any management changes; extended interruptions or disruptions in service at major airports where the Company operates; U.S. or foreign governmental legislation, regulation and other actions (including Open Skies agreements, environmental regulations and the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union); the seasonality of the airline industry; weather conditions; the costs and availability of aviation and other insurance; the costs and availability of financing; the Company's ability to maintain adequate liquidity; the Company's ability to comply with the terms of its various financing arrangements; the Company's ability to realize the full value of its intangible assets and long-lived assets; any impact to the Company's reputation or brand image and other risks and uncertainties set forth under Part I, Item 1A., "Risk Factors," of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 as well as other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in the reports it files with the SEC.
SOURCE United Airlines