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Continental Cuts Nearly 1,000 Jobs

September 20, 2001

DENVER (AP) _ Continental Airlines abruptly closed its reservation center Thursday, eliminating nearly 1,000 jobs.

Some employees with seniority may transfer to reservation centers in Houston, Salt Lake City, Houston or Tampa, Fla., airline spokeswoman Julie King said.

The layoffs were part of a furlough of 12,000 workers announced last week, when the airline said the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington were prompting it to reduce its flight schedule by 20 percent.

The airline industry has been hard hit by the attacks that left the public less eager to fly.

Some workers notified of the Denver closure by voicemail arrived at the office in tears to hear details of the layoffs.

``It’s a sad day for all of us at Continental Airlines. It’s a sad day for all of us in the airline industry,″ Continental spokeswoman King told KMGH-TV. ``These are painful steps that we have to take to ensure the long-term survival of Continental Airlines and something we have to do.″

King said employees who don’t want to transfer can take a one-year leave of absence, which will allow them to maintain their medical and flight benefits. They can also choose the severance package, she said.

King said she didn’t know what the package was.

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