With CARES Act Payroll Support Program funding set to expire at the end of September 2020 many airline employees are facing the very real risk of layoffs or furlough. But JetBlue pilots secured a major win this week.
The JetBlue MEC negotiated a new Letter of Agreement with the carrier to protect all JetBlue pilots from involuntary furlough until 1 May 2021.
In this environment, this is the highest level of codified pilot furlough protection in our industry to date.– JetBlue MEC letter to pilots
In a message shared with its pilot group the Master Executive Council notes that several aspects of the deal are subject to non-disclosure. But MEC also assures members that the deal “does not contain changes to CBA pay rates or make significant modifications to work rules.”
While the deal does not include significant changed to work rules it did require compromise. The MEC agreed to “short-term changes related to Section 23.A of the CBA, from October 2020 through April 2021…” The tentative contract published on the ALPA website suggests that section covers aspects of furlough mitigation. But until the company or the MEC disclose further details the specifics on that compromise remain unknown.
The timing of the deal is particularly interesting as Delta Air Lines began notifying some pilots today that they may be subject to furlough on 1 October. Quite a different sort of message to receive.
Neither JetBlue nor the MEC responded to a request for comment by time of publication.
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