DALLAS(CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas-based Southwest Airlines says the new stimulus bill is helping the company to avoid employee pay cuts and furloughs.

Southwest had plans in place to furlough more than 6,800 workers in the Spring — if necessary. It would have been the first layoffs in the company’s 50-year history.

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Earlier in December Southwest announced that it could furlough more than 500 employees in Dallas in 2021 and 7,000 employees across the country. The company employs some 10,000 people at its Dallas headquarters and at Love Field Airport

In an email late Sunday, CEO Gary Kelly said that the stimulus would prevent job cuts throughout all of next year.

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“I know the battle isn’t over, but we’re resilient, and we’re well prepared to fight so that Southwest emerges stronger than ever, ready to thrive for the next 50 years,” Kelly said.

The $900 billion bill gives airlines and contractors $16 billion for worker payroll support and bans any new furloughs until March 31.

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CBSDFW.com Staff