Most of JetBlue‘s employee groups hit targets for voluntary departures, helping the company to avoid layoffs as the CARES Act Payroll Support Program funding expires at the end of September. In a message to crewmembers today Chief People Officer Mike Elliott detailed the situation among each of the work groups.
There is still a bumpy road ahead, but we are optimistic that we can come through stronger than ever. These are not easy times and not knowing what the future holds can be the hardest part. Thank you for your professionalism and continuing to serve our Customers and each other under these challenging circumstances.– Chief People Officer Mike Elliott in a message to JetBlue employees
Pilots to be furlough-free
Among the workgroups pilots are the least impacted. As first reported yesterday afternoon, JetBlue confirms that the company reached a letter of agreement with ALPA to avoid furloughs in exchange for short-term changes to the collective bargaining agreement.
Tech Ops, SysOps, Airports & Customer Support
Most of these groups reached the desired targets for the voluntary buy-out programs. Elliott notes that in the Customer Support group the application levels exceeded demand to the level that some requests will not be honored (i.e. the employees keep their job rather than getting the buyout).
For Airports and SysOps the voluntary separation applications hit the correct numbers overall, though there are some geographic regions where not quite enough people opted out. JetBlue hopes to meet those needs through “additional reduced hours or short-term time off programs.”
Inflight might meet targets
For cabin crew the details uncertain pending the close of the next bid window. The company expects to have better clarity after that happens on 9 July. The memo notes that participation in the voluntary departure program has been “healthy” thus far.
Support Centers and Salaried come up short
All the good news from the other groups is offset by word that JetBlue “did not achieve the number of opt out and time off applications that we needed in some parts of our business.” The company intends to take the next few weeks to analyze the details on a role-by-role basis.
Elliott notes that because of the highly specialized nature of some roles it may be necessary to decline opt-out applications for some employees while proceeding with involuntary furloughs or layoffs in other areas.
On the balance the update is good news. The vast majority of staffing reduction will be realized through voluntary by-outs rather than layoffs. Which doesn’t really make things better for those who are affected involuntarily, but that number looks to be relatively small.
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