Categories
American National

National Hot Dog Day 2020: How the hot dog became an American icon – CNN

Story by Hannah Selinger, CNN; video by Diana DiroyPublished 22nd July 2020
(CNN) No matter how you like your wiener prepared, grilled or boiled, with mustard, ketchup or chili, we can all agree on …
Read More

Categories
American Fashion

American Fashion Nominates the Designers of the Year. They Really Make You Think. – The New York Times

Unbuttoned

But not in a good way. The Oscars of fashion reflect exactly what the industry needs to change.

Credit…Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Vanessa Friedman

When the coronavirus prompted the Council of Fashion Designers of America to postpone the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards, the annual “Oscars of the Fashion World” (industry prom) originally scheduled for June 8, it seemed like another glittering evening of voyeurism and celebration had fallen to the pandemic.

On Monday, however, the organization revealed that while the party may be over, at least for this year, the concept would go on.

“In this time of unprecedented challenge and change for our industry, we feel very strongly that it is important to recognize the nominees representing the best of fashion creativity,” said Tom Ford, chairman of the CFDA, in a news release. It announced the names, and said winners would be named on Sept. 14, the start of New York Fashion Week.

And the nominees are….?

Almost exactly the same designers who have been nominated (and won) in years past. Which means that rather than demonstrate the strength and resilience and depth of imagination of American fashion, the award nomination list mostly revealed exactly what is wrong with it. Or some of it.

Image

Credit…Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

In a time when the system itself is under scrutiny in a multitude of ways — from the way its constant churn of collections and shows devalues creations to its racism — nominating a handful of very familiar names as the very best fashion has to offer simply serves to perpetrate that system.

For anyone taken aback by the recent news that it was only this month that a Black photographer was chosen to shoot Vanity Fair’s cover, or that since Tyler Mitchell became the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in 2018, there hasn’t been another; for anyone thinking that the fashion industry is rife with cronyism, entrenched gatekeepers reluctant to give up power and a deep investment in maintaining the velvet-roped-off status quo, this list of nominees gives substance to the allegations.

Simply consider the fact that the nominees for the three big awards are:

American Womenswear Designer of the Year: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for the Row, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriela Hearst, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford.

Image

Credit…Mike Coppola/Getty Images

American Menswear Designer of the Year: Emily Adams Bode for Bode, Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder and Tom Ford.

American Accessories Designer of the Year: the Olsens again, Gabriela Hearst, Jennifer Fisher for Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, Stuart Vevers for Coach and Telfar Clemens for Telfar.

And consider that, of the above, Mr. Ford has not only won a Lifetime Achievement Award (in 2014), which should, it seems to me, disqualify the winner from being nominated again, but has already won six other CFDA awards.

Mr. Jacobs has also won a Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as seven others. Mr. Browne, who has won the men’s award three times, has been nominated for it every year since 2013. The Row has won the accessory award three times, and the women’s wear award once. Mr. Maxwell won the women’s award last year, and the emerging designer award in 2016. (Ms. Bode won that last year.)

Image

Credit…Landon Nordeman for The New York Times

Mr. Jean-Raymond and Mr. Clemens were nominated for the same awards last year, and both have won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Mr. Snyder has been nominated multiple times.

I could go on with almost every name, but you get the idea.

Even the Global Awards, now expanded to include both men’s wear and women’s wear — which were created to enlarge the nominee base and make a night that can feel stiflingly parochial reflect the reality of an international industry — feels stuck in a rut created when the world was a very different place. Which it was, since the nominations were received before March 13, when Covid-19 was just beginning to penetrate everyone’s consciousness.

For women’s wear, after all, there are Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta, who won four — count ’em — awards at the Fashion Awards in London last December; Dries Van Noten; Miuccia Prada for Prada; Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino and Rick Owens. Who has also won the Lifetime Achievement Award in the past.

For men’s, there are Craig Green, Dries Van Noten, Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, Kim Jones for Dior and Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton.

Image

Credit…Erin Baiano for The New York Times

I am not saying that the nominees — chosen by CFDA Fashion Awards Guild, which is made up of CFDA members, retailers, journalists (not from The New York Times; our rules prohibit us from voting in such industry competitions) and stylists — are not genuinely talented or that they haven’t built impressive and potent businesses. They are, very much, and they have. They deserve respect and applause, though perhaps not multiple statuettes.

I am not saying there are no new names: The emerging designer group, which includes Christopher John Rogers, Kenneth Nicholson, Peter Do, Reese Cooper and Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto for Staud, does that job. (Mr. Rogers did win the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award last year.)

I am not saying that among the many recidivist winners are not some newish, disruptive names, as well as designers of color. But you can count their number on one hand, which means they feel more like token additions than an actual shift.

And I know that fashion, like many industries, is dominated by a handful of companies and creative leaders whose names naturally leap to mind when asked to identify the best of any particular year. Which is, in any case, a term so broad and undefined that it is bound to lead to the most obvious common denominators.

So maybe the results were inevitable, given the current … well, system.

But Mr. Ford is right in saying this is a time of unprecedented challenge, of questioning. So why not question, and change, these awards, too?

Image

Credit…Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

In the past, the CFDA awards have included both broad design categories selected by the guild, and special “honoree” awards chosen — and often invented to fit the times — by the CFDA: the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Award for Positive Change, the Founder’s Award for service to the industry, the Fashion Icon Award.

This time the CFDA decided to eschew the special awards entirely in favor of the traditional designer awards, but that seems to me the wrong choice. What if instead it had decided to tackle the current situation head-on and gone all in on the idea of change, enlarging that category to encompass a designer who genuinely was rethinking how his or her business operated and who was part of it?

What if it had created a Supply Chain Award, for a company that knew every link in its production cycle? A Front-Line Employees Award that could have gone to the men and women in the fulfillment centers who worked through the pandemic, packing boxes for the e-commerce sites that kept many brands afloat? I could go on.

It might have to look beyond the usual suspects for the winners; break down the velvet ropes and barriers to entry. But the redefinition of what makes “designers,” and where they come from, has already begun. (James Jebbia did win the men’s wear award for Supreme in 2018.) This is an opportunity to take it further.

The CFDA awards are potent fund-raisers for an organization that does meaningful work fighting on the front lines for fashion’s causes: intellectual property protection, immigration, education. The group is helping a whole swath of designers weather the shutdown. Their awards should not be abolished.

But maybe they can become something more than simply notches in a designer’s belt, or an insider’s club that may feel, to those looking in, like a secretive fashion cabal.

If we are rethinking everything, it certainly would seem to be the simplest way to start. No one was expecting the awards to happen at all. The nominee announcement came as a surprise.

Just imagine if it had been a real one.

Read More

Categories
American Speech

In ‘Buy American’ Speech, Biden Challenges Trump on the Economy – The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid out a populist economic vision to revive and reinvest in American manufacturing on Thursday, calling for major new spending and stricter new rules to “Buy American” as part of an effort to more aggressively challenge President Trump on two of his signature issues: the economy and nationalism.

In a speech in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Mr. Biden lacerated Mr. Trump for a bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic that has deepened the economic crisis and a misplaced focus on the stock market, while framing his own economic agenda around a new campaign tagline, “Build Back Better.”

Mr. Biden said his plans would leverage trade, tax and investment policy to spur domestic innovation, reduce the reliance on foreign manufacturing and create five million additional American manufacturing and innovation jobs.

“I do not buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,” Mr. Biden said, speaking at a metalworks factory in Dunmore not far from this childhood home of Scranton, a place where Mr. Biden often returns rhetorically to emphasize his blue-collar roots.

“When the federal government spends taxpayers’ money, we should use it to buy American products and support American jobs,” he added.

On the same day, Vice President Mike Pence embarked on a Trump campaign bus tour across Pennsylvania, a sign of the state’s significance in the Electoral College calculations of both campaigns.

Mr. Biden’s campaign is riding high in the polls but his advisers, as well as Republican strategists, still see the economy as perhaps his area of greatest vulnerability against Mr. Trump. The president’s campaign — and the president himself when on message — has tried to argue that he oversaw a booming economy until the coronavirus pandemic brought about an “artificial” slowdown.

House Republican leaders recently briefed their members on polling showing Mr. Trump’s enduring advantage on the economy, and a recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed the economy as perhaps a lone bright spot for the president, even as he trailed by 14 percentage points overall.

In some ways, Mr. Biden was seizing the “Buy American” message from Mr. Trump himself, who campaigned on an “America First” agenda in 2016 and wrote on Twitter on his Inauguration Day that “Buy American” was one of “two simple rules” that would guide his administration. (The other was “hire American.”)

Mr. Biden has long cast himself as a champion of the American worker, particularly as vice president, when he led the Obama administration’s Middle Class Task Force and oversaw implementation of the 2009 economic stimulus bill. But he has faced criticism from Mr. Trump and from former liberal rivals like Senator Bernie Sanders over his support for the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s and other trade deals that followed.

On Thursday, the Trump campaign announced a new television ad attacking Mr. Biden’s record as “dangerous and foolish,” highlighting Mr. Biden’s vote for NAFTA in 1993 and his past support for trade relations with China and for the Trans-Pacific Partnership as vice president.

The Pennsylvania speech is the first of several steps Mr. Biden is taking in the coming weeks to detail an expanded economic agenda, beyond what he proposed in the primaries. On Thursday, Mr. Biden specifically proposed a $300 billion increase in government spending on research and development of technologies like electric vehicles and 5G cellular networks, as well as an additional $400 billion in federal procurement spending on products that are manufactured in the United States.

Mr. Biden described it as a level of investment “not seen since the Great Depression and World War II” and emphasized that among his top priorities is to expand prosperity to all corners of the country, both racial and geographic.

“This money will be used purposefully to ensure all of America is in on the deal, including communities that historically have been left out: Black, brown and Native American entrepreneurs, cities and towns everywhere,” he said.

Mr. Biden’s campaign is rallying top surrogates in key battleground states to amplify and showcase his economic message on Friday: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will hold a roundtable discussion aimed at Arizona voters, Senators Tammy Duckworth and Tammy Baldwin will do one for Wisconsin, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will headline one for her state and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio will hold one for his state.

His campaign aides cheered on Twitter that the three leading cable news networks — CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — carried Mr. Biden’s speech live, even as his remarks were briefly interrupted by a audible downpour at the plant.

As Mr. Trump has increasingly focused his campaign on stoking white resentment and fears, Mr. Biden and his campaign have stressed their efforts to increase opportunities for Black, Latino, Asian-American and other workers. “An economy for every American,” Mr. Biden said on Thursday.

“Donald Trump may believe that pitting Americans against Americans may benefit him. I don’t,” he said. Later in his speech, he invoked Mr. Trump’s recent comments defending the Confederate flag and accused the president of being “determined to drive us apart.”

While Mr. Biden has said in speeches since he began his campaign more than a year ago that Wall Street is not the true economic engine of America, he sharpened his tone on Thursday, saying it was “way past time to put an end to shareholder capitalism.”

He lashed Mr. Trump, in particular, for his focus on the stock market as a metric of success as tens of millions of Americans have been driven to file jobless claims during the ongoing pandemic. “Throughout this crisis, Donald Trump has been almost singularly focused on the stock market, the Dow, Nasdaq,” Mr. Biden said. “Not you. Not your families.”

Aides also said that Mr. Biden, the former vice president, would propose additional deficit spending next year to help the economy recover from the recession caused by the pandemic, building on the more than $3 trillion in new borrowing that Congress and Mr. Trump have already approved amid the crisis.

Mr. Biden has thus far proposed to offset the entirety of his spending plans with nearly $4 trillion in tax increases, largely by reversing some of Mr. Trump’s signature tax cuts for high earners and otherwise raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Aides said he would do the same to fund his procurement and research plans.

Mr. Biden proposed the smallest amount of new federal spending among the major Democratic contenders during the presidential primary race, and his plan, despite its new spending, remains far less expensive than those proposed by his former rivals, like Mr. Sanders of Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Mr. Biden has sought to straddle the line on economic policy and elsewhere between his moderate political instincts and a progressive wing of the party that lined up in the primaries behind candidates, like Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, who promised sweeping and systemic change.

On Wednesday, a Biden-Sanders “unity task force” published 110 pages of platform recommendations, including plans on the economy. Its recommendations included more sweeping proposals than Mr. Biden has embraced in the campaign, including a New Deal-style federal jobs program to use government funds to put Americans to work on infrastructure and other projects. The recommendations also included a so-called baby bonds proposal that would seek to reduce wealth disparities between Black and white Americans by giving every child in the country a government-funded savings account.

Mr. Biden is planning four rollouts ahead of the Democratic National Convention in August on his plans to “mobilize the American people” for challenges in a future Biden administration. The speech on Thursday was the first in the series.

The next three, according to a campaign document, will be on “modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future,” then a plan “to build a 21st-century caregiving and education work force” followed by a plan “to advance racial equity in America.”

Updated July 9, 2020


    • Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid out a populist economic vision as part of an effort to more aggressively challenge President Trump on his signature issue.

    • Here are 13 women who have been under consideration to be Joe Biden’s running mate, and why each might be chosen — and might not be.

    • Get an email recapping the day’s news
    • Download our mobile app on iOS and Android and turn on Breaking News and Politics alerts

Read More

Categories
American reopening

Reopening American schools, and why Trudeau skipped a visit to the White House – CNN

This was originally published as the July 8 edition of CNN’s Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Click here to read past editions and subscribe.

(CNN)They might not admit it, but America’s kids need to go back to school. As the pandemic spirals out of control, the longest summer vacation on record is now threatening to become a lost year.

Donald Trump is here to help, though his new push to get kids and teachers back into germ-laden classrooms may be more about fostering a sense of normality to boost his reelection hopes. He is bringing the same defiance of science, politicization and wishful thinking to schools as he did to premature economic openings that worsened the Covid-19 disaster. “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” the President tweeted.
He’s not wrong. Months of missed lessons risk seriously denting the education of a generation of children. Experts fear that emotional and mental problems and even teen suicides will reach critical levels if schools remain empty. Millions of poor American pupils get their only square meals of the day at school. And online learning pulled together in a rush is a poor substitute for classrooms.
Trump himself doesn’t actually have the power to fling open school doors — in public education, the buck stops with states. But presidential pressure is a powerful force. One of his top allies, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has already said schools will be open all day, every day, come what may.
Most children don’t get that sick with Covid-19. But teachers braving the classrooms every day will be at high risk. And what happens when kids take the virus home to parents and grandparents? School administrators and teachers unions are developing schemes to mitigate the infection risk through smaller class sizes, part-time lessons and online education. But as states and cities roll back reopenings, it’s becoming harder than ever to envisage that the first day of school this fall will resemble any kind of “normal.”

The ‘Trump of the Tropics’ tests positive

It’s never too late to change your ways, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has learned after months of greeting supporters without a mask. More than 1.5 million Brazilians have been infected with the coronavirus, and Bolsonaro himself is among them, he announced Tuesday. “I’m not going to see anyone for meetings,” the President conceded to CNN Brasil after his diagnosis. “Everything will be done via videoconference and I will rarely meet people if I need to deal with more reserved matters.”

‘If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data’

FBI Director Christopher Wray came out swinging against China on Tuesday, CNN’s David Shortell reports. “The Chinese government is engaged in a broad, diverse campaign of theft and malign influence and it can execute that campaign with authoritarian efficiency,” Wray said during a speech at the conservative Hudson Institute in Washington. “If you think these issues are just an intelligence issue, or a government problem, or a nuisance largely just for big corporations who can take care of themselves—you could not be more wrong. It’s the people of the United States who are the victims of what amounts to Chinese theft on a scale so massive that it represents one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history,” he said. “If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data.

Safe and sound north of the border

He would have likely been forgiven for skipping the handshake — but in declining an invitation to the White House this week, Justin Trudeau is sidestepping a whole minefield of Covid-19 etiquette and politics.
While Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador journeys to Washington for a celebratory get-together with Trump over the implementation of a new North American trade deal — the USMCA, which replaces NAFTA — Canada’s Prime Minister will be conspicuously absent.
He would have stuck out like a sore thumb, anyway. While Trump and López Obrador have never been seen in public wearing masks, Trudeau doesn’t leave home without one. For him, it would have been like risking a lunch with neighbors who you know aren’t taking the virus as seriously — which is not far from the truth, as López Obrador dismisses mass testing and Trump pushes economic reopening.
The curves of infection are moving in opposite directions in the US and Canada, and America’s new surge has put Canadians on edge. Polls show the vast majority of Canadians want the US-Canadian border to remain closed to nonessential traffic, and anyone who does enter Canada has to quarantine for 14 days. Trudeau might have been exempt after attending the trade meeting at the White House, but his staff would not have been — and their health and safety was likely a real issue in planning travel to the US. “We’re concerned about the health situation and the coronavirus situation that is hitting all three of our countries,” Trudeau said last week.
For weeks, Canada has been logging just a few hundred new cases of Covid-19 per day. Just like in the US, some younger Canadians are skirting rules — a few dozen people have so far been infected after a night out near Montreal. But unlike the US, Canadian contract tracing at such low numbers is viable and mostly thorough. A growing list of cities and towns are also helping to limit new outbreaks by making masks mandatory.
Skipping a trip to the White House was an easy call for Trudeau. He’s simply following the same coronavirus rule of thumb that governs all Canadians — don’t cross the border unless absolutely essential. — CNN’s Anchor and Canada Correspondent Paula Newton writes to Meanwhile

‘Donald was to my grandfather what the border wall has been for Donald’

Trump’s psychologist niece, Mary Trump, has a new book out titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” which argues that the President’s current behavior is the product of a toxic family dynamic and a bullying father. The demanding family patriarch, Fred, shaped the President by propping up his many failed endeavors, she writes: “Donald was to my grandfather what the border wall has been for Donald: a vanity project funded at the expense of more worthy pursuits.” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews responded Tuesday that “the President describes the relationship he had with his father as warm and said his father was very good to him. He said his father was loving and not at all hard on him as a child.”

Spotted

Presidents fear one thing above all: Bob Woodward.
The famed reporter — half of the Washington Post duo who brought down President Richard Nixon (along with Carl Bernstein, who filed this blockbuster for CNN last week) — is on the prowl again. His last exposé, “Fear,” stunningly lifted the lid on the chaos and feuding of Trump’s early years in power. He has a new book coming in September, and this time around, the President is attempting to shape it by talking with Woodward, who has been spotted several times around the White House.
Every President since Nixon has had to choose between talking to Woodward as he ferrets around in the administration or trying to discredit his damaging scoops. Trump has plenty of other things on his mind right now, including his own teetering reelection prospects. But judging by the marker-scrawled note spotted in Trump’s jacket pocket on Tuesday by sharp-eyed CNN producer Kevin Liptak, Woodward is still casting his spell.

Read More

Categories
Airlines American

American Airlines will fly at full capacity — only 3 U.S. airlines have blocked the middle seat on domestic flights – MarketWatch

One new safety measure: more lines open at security

Travelers arrive for flights at a nearly-deserted O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. The airport, which typically serves 8.2 million passengers a month, has significantly reduced air travel.


Getty Images

American Airlines
AAL,
-1.98%

has come under scrutiny for its decision not to block the middle seats on flights in the name of preventing coronavirus transmission — but many other airlines have taken this same stance.

The carrier announced last week that starting Wed., July 1, it would resume booking flights to full capacity.

Previously, the airline had said it would limit its flights to 85% capacity and block certain seats to ensure social distancing onboard its aircraft. Moving forward, passengers will be alerted if their flight is going to be crowded and be given the opportunity to switch flights free of charge.

Aside from American, other airlines that aren’t capping flight capacity or blocking seats include United
UAL,
-0.46%
,
Allegiant
ALGT,
-0.84%
,
Spirit
SAVE,
-0.39%

and Sun Country.

The move has drawn criticism from public-health experts. “We don’t think it’s the right message,” Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified during a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday. “It’s really important that individuals, whether [they’re in] a bus or a train or a plane, are social distancing to the degree that’s feasible.”

Delta is one of only a few U.S. airlines to block middle seats on its flights to promote more social distancing onboard aircraft during the coronavirus pandemic.


Getty Images

During that same hearing, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the policy change at American “is something that is of concern.” Both Fauci and Redfield made the comments in response to a question from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who asked why the government wasn’t working to stop “that type of activity.”

An American Airlines spokesperson said the company was “unwavering” in its commitment to safety. “We know our customers are placing their trust in us to make every aspect of their journey safe, and we are committed to doing just that,” the spokesperson said in an email.

“We have multiple layers of protection in place for those who fly with us, including required face coverings, enhanced cleaning procedures, and a pre-flight COVID-19 symptom checklist — and we’re providing additional flexibility for customers to change their travel plans, as well,” the spokesperson added.


Three other airlines made moves to reduce capacity: Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Southwest.

American Airlines is not alone in its stance. In fact, only three U.S.-based airlines — Delta
DAL,
-1.24%
,
Hawaiian
HA,
-1.92%

and JetBlue
JBLU,
-2.11%

— have blocked the middle seats completely on their domestic flights, reducing the capacity on their aircraft substantially.

Three other airlines have made moves to reduce capacity.

Alaska Airlines
ALK,
-1.54%

blocks “select” seats.

Frontier Airlines blocks 20 of its middle seats per flight to give customers the option to purchase a seat that will be more socially distanced. On one of the airline’s typical aircraft, one in five seats have a guaranteed empty middle seat next to them. “This is a confirmed measure we take on every flight — not a ‘we’ll make a best effort’ scenario,” Jennifer de la Cruz, Frontier’s director of corporate communications, told MarketWatch in an email.

Southwest Airlines
LUV,
-1.08%

has committed that none of its flights will be booked more than two-thirds full through Sept. 30. Southwest does not assign seats, though, so middle seats remain open, but passengers are encouraged to socially distance as much as possible when they board.

But experts have also questioned the efficacy of social distancing on planes as an approach to curb the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 on airplanes. To reduce the probability of exposure to a very low level, “you would need to make the seating density so low that it would be impractical to operate an aircraft economically,” Byron Jones, an engineer and professor at Kansas State University, told lawmakers during a hearing last week before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.

Read More

Categories
Airlines American

American Airlines Is Planning $1.5 Billion Stock, Convertible Sale – Bloomberg

Need help? Contact us

We’ve detected unusual activity from your computer network

To continue, please click the box below to let us know you’re not a robot.

Why did this happen?

Please make sure your browser supports JavaScript and cookies and that you are not blocking them from loading. For more information you can review our Terms of Service and Cookie Policy.

Need Help?

For inquiries related to this message please contact our support team and provide the reference ID below.

Block reference ID:

Read More

Categories
American Whelan

American Paul Whelan convicted of espionage in Russia and sentenced to 16 years in prison – CBS This Morning

American Paul Whelan convicted of espionage in Russia and sentenced to 16 years in prison – CBS This Morning
Read More

Categories
Airlines American

American Airlines outlines severance packages for high-level employees – CNBC

An airline employee walks past empty American Airlines check-in terminals at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on May 12, 2020.

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

American Airlines has recently detailed severance packages for high-level employees if they are laid off when the terms of federal aid expire in the fall, people familiar with the matter said.

The severance packages for upper management include around nine months of pay and a little over two years of health-care coverage for at least some of the employees at the director level and above, one of the people said. 

The packages come as American and other airlines are preparing to shrink and offer employees voluntary separation options as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt demand. The virus and measures to stop it have pushed airlines including Delta, United and American to their first quarterly losses in years.

American declined to comment.

The terms of $25 billion in federal coronavirus relief set aside for U.S. airline payroll prohibit carriers that accepted the aid from laying off or cutting the pay rates of employees through Sept. 30. Airline executives have warned they expect they will have to shrink to compensate for weak travel demand. 

American late last month said it aims to reduce management and support staff by about 30% or around 5,000 jobs, starting with voluntary measures like buyouts. United also aims to reduce the ranks of its management and administrative employees by 30%, or around 3,400 people, it said last month. United, Southwest and Delta have offered voluntary separation packages for other work groups, such as flight attendants and customer service workers. 

Delta executives are discussing what voluntary separation packages could look like for senior management, according to a person familiar with the matter. Delta didn’t provide details on the voluntary senior management packages, or what involuntary severance packages might include. Southwest and United didn’t respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

In late May, American offered management and support staff buyouts and retirement packages, an effort to get employees off the payroll and avoid involuntary layoffs. Buyout options include a third of pay and full medical coverage through Dec. 31, along with five years of travel benefits. The airline told management and support staff that if they are laid off involuntarily later they will not receive severance. However, under the federal aid terms they will be paid through Sept. 30.

“If there are not enough early out volunteers, we will have to take the difficult step of involuntary separations,” said Elise Eberwein, American’s executive vice president of people and global engagement, in a May 27 staff note, outlining those options. She added that the cuts will be communicated to employees in July and that those employees would get a year of travel benefits and access to COBRA health coverage for 18 months. The deadline to volunteer for the buyouts and early retirements is Wednesday.

The high-level employees, a group that recently took pay cuts, and might receive the severance packages if they are involuntarily cut, could face more difficulty finding work at their level than other employees, said Tom McMullen, senior client partner at organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry. 

Severance packages “tend to ramp up for executives,” McMullen said. “Executives don’t find a new job in a month. They might find a job in a year.”

He added it will likely be challenging for laid off airline employees compared with those in a single ailing company because the “sector is fighting for its life.”

Read More

Categories
Airlines American

American Airlines says to cut management and support staff by 30% – Fox Business

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox.  Sign up here.

American Airlines Group Inc must reduce its management and support staff by about 30% and may have to cut frontline employees as it downsizes due to the coronavirus outbreak, showed a letter to employees made public on Wednesday.

All major U.S. airlines have said they will need to shrink in the fall, once U.S. government payroll aid that bans involuntary job cuts expires on Sept. 30.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Competitor United Airlines Holdings Inc has also said it will need to reduce its management and administrative staff by about 30%.

Despite the bailout and other liquidity raises, American must “plan for operating a smaller airline for the foreseeable future,” Executive Vice President of People and Global Engagement Elise Eberwein said in the letter.

American, with over 100,000 employees, will offer voluntary options before implementing involuntary reductions if there is not enough take-up, she said.

AMERICAN AIRLINES’ LATEST CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL MEASURES INCLUDE THESE PERKS

Once it has reduced its management ranks, the company will turn to frontline employees including flight attendants and pilots, who will receive fresh voluntary leave and early retirement options in June with the aim of avoiding involuntary furloughs.

“This is a goal, though, not a commitment, and a stretch goal at that,” Eberwein said, adding the company will be working with unions in coming weeks and months.

CORONAVIRUS PUSHES BERKSHIRE TO SELL ENTIRE STAKES IN US AIRLINES: BUFFETT

American has said it is accelerating fleet retirement and expects to fly roughly 100 fewer aircraft in the summer of 2021. Nearly 40,000 employees have already opted for temporary voluntary leave or early retirement.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

Earlier, American Chief Executive Doug Parker said the airline hoped to avoid furloughs and rejected speculation that it or another major U.S. carrier will have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to the coronavirus crisis.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing)

Read More