Canadian Manufacturing

United Airlines to outsource 1,150 airport jobs

The cost-cutting deal, which was reached after negotiations on wages, faces voting by union members at each airport



DALLAS—United Airlines said that it has a tentative agreement with a union to outsource about 1,150 airport jobs while sparing another 800 positions.

The airline said that it plans to hire contractors to provide the work at 16 airports but will continue to use United employees for some or all of the work at 12 others. Last month, the airline said it was considering outsourcing up to 2,000 airport jobs, including baggage handlers and customer-service agents.

The agreement, which faces voting by union members at each airport, was reached after negotiations on wages at the local level with members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, United spokesman Luke Punzenberger said. He said the airline prefers to have its own employees do the work “where it makes financial sense,” but “we need to ensure our costs are competitive.”

James Carlson, a spokesman for the union, said most of the work is related to United Express flights that are operated by regional airlines under contract to United. The regional airlines hire their own pilots, flight attendants and mechanics, and they operate smaller planes than those flown by United Airlines.

The agreement calls for United to offer positions to union members whose jobs are outsourced, but they could be required to move, Carlson said.

The airline, a unit of Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc., plans to outsource all airport jobs at these locations:

_ Anchorage, Alaska; Hartford, Connecticut; Nashville; Boise, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; Greensboro, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida; McAllen, Texas; Oklahoma City; Omaha, Nebraska; Ontario, California; Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia; and Providence, Rhode Island.

Under the agreements, all the airport jobs would remain in-house at these locations:

_ Billings, Montana; Indianapolis; Reno, Nevada; San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, California; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Some jobs would be outsourced at:

_ Atlanta; Fort Myers, Florida; Kansas City; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Sacramento, California; St. Louis.

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