United says it has tentative deal to outsource airport jobs

AP News
Posted: Feb 13, 2015 6:57 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines said Friday it has a tentative agreement with a union to outsource about 1,100 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 an approval vote by union members, 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.

Punzenberger 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."

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.