In a money-saving move, United Airlines says it will outsource the jobs of 637 workers at 12 airports across the country, including El Paso, Albuquerque and Salt Lake City.
But the Chicago-based airline said it was adding 409 workers to its payroll who formerly worked for contractors and a regional carrier in Denver, Washington, D.C., and Honolulu, plus ramp workers in Phoenix.
“This is a difficult decision, but we need to ensure that our costs are competitive,” the airline said in a statement.
Some employees whose positions will be eliminated in the outsourcing move will be allowed to transfer to other airports to continue working at United, the airline said.
Still, the International Assn. of Machinists District 141, one of the unions representing United workers at the 12 airports, criticized the airline.
"District 141 does not in any way condone or endorse this bad business decision by United," the group said in a statement. "It's wrong. United should maintain their IAM-represented workforce in every station. We simply do a better job."
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