United Airlines may try to contract out as many as 2,000 union jobs as part of ongoing efforts to reduce expenses.
Workers at O’Hare Airport who check in passengers, handle baggage and customer service would not be directly affected by the proposed outsourcing. The Chicago-based airline on Monday informed the International Association of Machinists it wants to have vendors take over some or all of these jobs at 28 smaller, non-hub airports including Atlanta, Indianapolis and St. Louis.
No final decisions have been made about exactly how many jobs would be affected and where they would be, United spokesman Luke Punzenberger said.
“We want to make these decisions as quickly as possible because we have to make sure that our costs are competitive,” Punzenberger told Bloomberg.
Airline and union officials are expected to meet Tuesday to begin talks on where and how many jobs will be outsourced.
“The purpose and goal of these meetings is to look at each station individually and look for alternatives that will allow our members to continue to work in their home stations and maintain the level of wages and benefits they deserve,” Machinists District 141 president Rich Delaney told the Denver Post. “If that is not possible, other security and seniority provisions will be implemented to allow our members to continue to work for United Airlines in other locations, if they choose.”