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Southwest Airlines has expanded its furlough warnings, saying that 6,828 jobs at risk, about 12% of its staff.
The airline told employees that 6,828 jobs are at risk as the company and its labor unions have failed so far to agree on how to cut US$500 million in costs.
Southwest sent federally mandated notices to Pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers and other workers on Thursday that they may be furloughed.
This is the first time, the company is in the brink of job jets in its 47 year history.
Employees getting notices Thursday included 2,551 ramp workers, 1,500 flight attendants and 1,221 pilots.
The furloughs would take effect either March 15 or April 1, or within two weeks of that date, unless the carrier reaches cost-cutting agreements with unions or Congress passes additional aid for the sector, the airline said.
Southwest airlines plans to save over $70 million by this layoffs, and earlier saved close to $100 million through voluntary early retirements and long-term leaves.
According to its earnings call, the airline burns as much as US$11 million a day from October through December, and reported US$1.2 billion adjusted loss in the third quarter.
Airline says that the layoffs could be prevented if Congress approves a new financial stimulus package that includes additional financial aid to help cover airline payroll costs. Employees must be notified of potential furloughs as much as 90 days in advance.
7,990 workers got the latest notices that they could be affected. About 17,000 employees already have left Southwest temporarily or permanently through voluntary programs.