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Southwest CEO: No layoffs, furloughs on Oct. 1
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In a letter to employees obtained by FOX Business, Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly vowed that the airline will not furlough or lay off any of its employees on Oct. 1.
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The airline industry agreed not to lay off or furlough workers until Oct. 1 as part of a $25 billion aid package from the federal government due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I want you all to know we will not furlough or layoff any Southwest employees on October 1, unlike our major competitors," Kelly wrote. "Further, we have no intentions of seeking furloughs, layoffs, pay rate cuts, or benefits cuts through at least the end of this year."
Kelly acknowledged that while he "can't guarantee it will never happen," he promised it will be "the last thing we do to keep Southwest financially healthy and viable."
"You all have helped to build the greatest airline in history, and I value and appreciate every single one of you," Kelly added. "You are the reason we are prepared for the siege ahead, and you are the ones who can dig us out of this crisis. I can never thank you enough."
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The announcement comes as two of its competitors, American Airlines and United Airlines, both warned earlier this month that their employees could be furloughed on Oct. 1. United reported a $1.6 billion loss on Tuesday and said that more than 6,000 employees have voluntarily taken severance packages.