JetBlue Plans to Lay off Staff on October 1
An internal JetBlue Airways email was sent to employees on Tuesday morning, which outlined the company’s plans to outsource workers in smaller airports instead of having in-house staff, Business Insider reported.
The email from Mike Parkinson, JetBlue’s vice president of airports experience, announced that the airline will carry out a plan that it called a “full Business Partner model” in October. A source in the airline told Business Insider that the “full Business Partner model” meant sending off in-house employees and hiring third-party contractors for “above and below wing positions,” including gate agents and baggage handlers.
The layoffs will likely happen at smaller airports with low numbers of daily JetBlue flights. By outsourcing the workers there, the company could cut spending on healthcare and flight benefits, which are main attractions for many to work for airlines.
Parkinson said that the coronavirus pandemic has gravely affected the airline industry and demanded JetBlue to make changes.
“The continued impact of coronavirus on our industry has left us no choice but to look for new ways to run our airline,” Parkinson wrote. “This decision is in no way a reflection of our Crewmembers' level of work in those cities who live the JetBlue Culture every day and offer the JetBlue experience our Customers love.”
A source told Business Insider that up to 300 workers could be impacted by JetBlue’s budget-cutting plan.
The affected employees will have opportunities to transfer to other internal positions or choose the “voluntary opt out programs,” the memo said.
JetBlue’s voluntary departure packages, Business Insider reported, include three choices: “opt out with perks,” “opt out with cash,” and “long-term time off,” and benefits in each package are subject to experience in years at JetBlue.