United Airlines says it will ‘insource’ airport jobs too

SHARE United Airlines says it will ‘insource’ airport jobs too

United Airlines, which is considering outsourcing up to 2,000 airport jobs, now says that after talking with union leaders it will bring back other jobs that had been turned over to contractors.

In a letter to employees Wednesday, senior vice president of airport operations Jon Roitman said United will complete “insourcing” work at nine large airports early this summer.

Neither Roitman nor a United spokesman said how many jobs might be added. Chicago-based United has about 87,000 employees.

On Monday, United said it was considering hiring a contractor to provide bag-handling and other work done by about 2,000 employees at 28 non-hub airports. Roitman said Wednesday the insourcing promise followed a meeting with leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, who represent the affected United employees.

Roitman said the airline industry “had a relatively good year in 2014,” and United had its best results since the 2010 merger with Continental Airlines.

United Continental Holdings Inc. earned $1.1 billion through the first nine months of 2014, and analysts expect that next week it will report a full-year profit of more than $1.5 billion, nearly triple its 2013 earnings.

Still, Roitman said, United must “close the financial gap to our major competitors” by reducing costs, raising revenue and improving customer service.

The union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The nine cities where United says it plans to bring back an undisclosed number of airport jobs are Honolulu; Las Vegas; Orlando, Florida; Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; Seattle; Tampa, Florida; and Washington (Reagan National Airport).

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