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United shifting jobs at 12 airports to cut costs

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:12 a.m. HST, Jul 08, 2014

DALLAS >> United Airlines is outsourcing more than 600 jobs at 12 airports around the country to cut costs while adding jobs at other airports. Honolulu Airport is one of the facilities affected by the decision.

The airline said Monday that it notified employees of the decision, which had been expected since May. They include ticket and gate agents and baggage handlers at airports served mostly by smaller United Express flights.

"This is a difficult decision, but we need to ensure that our costs are competitive," said United spokeswoman Christen David.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said that it negotiated seniority protection for many of the workers if they relocate, and that job losses will be limited.

Still, union spokesman James Carlson called the outsourcing a "race to the bottom. How can you compete with vendors paying $12 an hour?" He said United's top pay for the work is about $24 an hour.

United will hire other companies to handle the work at airports in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Buffalo, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Detroit; El Paso, Texas; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Wichita, Kansas; Pensacola, Florida; and Salt Lake City.

Under the union contract, the airline will take back about 400 jobs that had been outsourced at Denver, Honolulu, Phoenix, and Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.

Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc. lost $609 million in the first quarter while rivals Delta and American made money. It employs about 87,000 workers overall, according to FactSet.

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Bully wrote:
Cut cost, stock price goes up CEO retires with fat bonus. Service goes down complaints go up let satisfaction customers fly other airline but that the next guys problem.
on July 7,2014 | 01:08PM
justin_thyme wrote:
It's no wonder United is losing money. Its level of service has been plummeting for years now. After flying more than 2 million miles on United over the last 25 years and reaching the highest lifetime Mileage Plus level, I "divorced" them earlier this year. Now I fly only Hawaiian, or Delta if Hawaiian doesn't service my destination. The change has been a welcome breath of fresh air. So long, United -- I won't bid you "Aloha" because you no longer deserve it.
on July 7,2014 | 01:23PM
paradisetax wrote:
Worst airline ever. Totally lacking in customer service. Have not flown with United in many years.
on July 7,2014 | 05:45PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
My first flight to the mainland was in January 1982 aboard a United flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles, or HNL to LAX, industry talk. I loved it, however I recently have flown Delta exclusively to Atlanta (non stop 9 hours from HNL), to Chicago and to Reno ( to watch June Jones pull out a win versus Nevada-Reno in November 2007 in their magical 12-1 season).
on July 7,2014 | 07:26PM
SueH wrote:
So after waving your "travel flag" your point is????
on July 7,2014 | 09:05PM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
Get a grip. He or she is just reminiscing. Let him or her reflect on it. Obviously it makes him or her happy. Or do you have a problem with that? This site is for everyone. Not just for you.
on July 8,2014 | 08:42AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
And who made thee the Ms. Marm of this post?
on July 8,2014 | 08:44AM
atilter wrote:
corporate pride and customer service goes out the window whenever the bottom-line of the CEO is at stake. this "tough decision" is a no-brainer" when his pocket (CEO) is at stake. let the buying public take the hit! next - $20 mickiD, by contract ,in lieu of the "gourmet meal", aka chef-designer-meal. add to that $20 for each carry-on.
on July 7,2014 | 01:47PM
9ronboz wrote:
sound business decision
on July 7,2014 | 01:56PM
Uncleart66 wrote:
If service goes down, vote with your feet.
on July 7,2014 | 03:00PM
islandsun wrote:
Another Large Corp dumping jobs.....Time to increase tax on these corps they do not create jobs.
on July 7,2014 | 04:21PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Absolutely no logic in your thinking
on July 7,2014 | 05:45PM
palani wrote:
Sure there is, it's called Obamanomics.
on July 7,2014 | 06:23PM
inverse wrote:
Will that become Schatzonomics?
on July 8,2014 | 01:40PM
rigormortis wrote:
Sounds like you believe taxes are a hate penalty! Au contraire, cutting taxes create jobs which then generate taxes.
on July 7,2014 | 05:50PM
islandsun wrote:
Thats the old economic model. Big Corps are eliminating jobs these days. Its the trend. Technology creates jobs or eliminates them. But the eliminations are winning the tug of war.
on July 7,2014 | 07:24PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
It's called capitalism and its our financial system.
on July 7,2014 | 05:39PM
false wrote:
Why do you think you get a customer service representative in India, Philippines or Canada on most airlines these days, including Hawaiian Airlines? Cheaper, of course.
on July 7,2014 | 06:30PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Sometimes frustrating though, as it is almost like talking to a machine.
on July 7,2014 | 07:30PM
joeglick wrote:
I will give the airlines credit, for safely getting their passengers from point A to B. Continental use to be my choice of airlines. Since the merger, service has gone way down, and fares have gone up. Buyer beware with United.
on July 7,2014 | 07:29PM
808warriorfan wrote:
"Still, union spokesman James Carlson called the outsourcing a "race to the bottom. How can you compete with vendors paying $12 an hour?" He said United's top pay for the work is about $24 an hour." I beg to differ ...but... a lot of contract workers are making minimum wage w/ very little benefits. They have no loyalty to the company or it's customers. Until the airline industry gets airline people / no financial people to run the business, things won't change. Unfortunately it's too late as there are only a few airlines left..."The New American Airlines" ... "The New Continental Airlines (a.k.a United) ... Delta ... & Alaska. Those that aren't flying to Hawaii are South"worst', Jet Blue, and a few regional carriers like Spirit & Virgin America.
on July 7,2014 | 11:00PM
globalball wrote:
Have noticed the steady downward trend in customer service with united. Perhaps the problem is linked to lack of competition and the decision to allow airline mergers to the extent that there are few options left to us. Miss Continental and I'm sure their former staff do as well.
on July 8,2014 | 06:28AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
Unions will always spin doctor the whole thing. But the fact is, it is all about supply and demand. And that fact applies to workers also. Higher pay comes also with the possibility of losing the job to a lower paid worker. Look what it did to the original Hostess company. The workers got themselves fat raises but in the end they lost their jobs because the company could not afford them anymore. The union leeches saw their union paying members lose their job. But that union is probably still around collecting dues from another group of workers.
on July 8,2014 | 08:54AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
Just a word of warning to others: If you are flying United Airlines for a medical procedure on the mainland, be aware that if your procedure takes longer than planned, they will not reschedule your flight even with a letter from the head surgeon. That happened to a friend of mine. He ended up losing money on the tickets that he purchased. And then he had to purchase new tickets from another airline to return home. That is all you need after a major surgery. Stress from losing even more money and then trying to figure out what airlines to go with next to get back home.
on July 8,2014 | 09:01AM
inverse wrote:
In other words he was getting treated for a bad headache and got even a worse headache in dealing with the airline companies. This is a glass half full sort of deal. Someone passed away and the airline would not refund the ticket purchase to the family of the deceased until it made national headlines, then from a public relations standpoint decided to give the family the refund. That fact that he was able to return home alive after neurosurgery, minus the hundreds in change fees can be considered a good problem to have.
on July 8,2014 | 01:51PM
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