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Old Feb 20, 14, 2:36 pm   #1
 
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UA Outsources at YVR, YYC and YYZ :td:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/united-airl...190805703.html



Quote:
CHICAGO - United Airlines says it is cutting 240 jobs in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

The U.S.-based airlines says the jobs, which include customer service agents and ramp agents, will now be outsourced.

There will be 95 jobs affected in Toronto; 84 in Vancouver and 61 in Calgary.

The cuts will become effective in three months.

United says the announcement does not have any effect on the number of flights the airline operates in Canada.

Company spokesperson Christen David said in an email that the cuts were difficult but necessary decisions for the airline to run a "more efficient and financially sustainable business."
IMO, when a service industry outsources their activities it reduces the quality of service that is offered.

Case in point ... DHL acquisition of Airborne Express of Seattle. Couriers became independent contractors and no longer cared to meet deliveries because they would be paid to have a package on the truck. If they did not make the effort to deliver, they still got paid because it was per piece on the truck. And now DHL door-to-door service is no longer available in the US because reliability dropped.

Last edited by sing-along; Feb 20, 14 at 2:45 pm.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 2:44 pm   #2
 
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I'm sad.

I know some great people with us in Canada.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 2:58 pm   #3
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That sucks. Too bad they couldn't outsource YVR's "world's slowest security" instead.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:05 pm   #4
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Quote:
Company spokesperson Christen David said in an email that the cuts were difficult but necessary decisions for the airline to run a "more efficient and financially sustainable business."
You really do have to wonder if the grand plan is to only have UA ground employees at the hubs when all the cuts are over. Isn't this about 10 stations outsourced now in the last few months?
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:07 pm   #5
 
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It is very sad.

I started to fly UA extensively in 2003 and in 2004 exclusively. I know many of the ladies in YYZ and when I moved to YVR some 9 years ago I have had the pleasure of knowing most of them.

Here is an example I saw of where a contract employees doesn't care at YVR. I believe CO in YVR was outsourced. (If not, then my example below shows how little CO employees care about customer service and standards). However at YVR I am almost certain they were contract employees as it was only flight a day to IAH.

After the acquisition and before CO took over UA I was at the gate flying to IAH. This is before the 1/2/3/4/5 boarding group ribbons were introduced.

This was when UA had the sign for boarding Premier Access with an arrow to one side, and Economy the other.

The MLL lounge was closed (this was something like 05h00) so I was at the gate. One lady comes to move the pole with the sign however can't roll it properly and stops and does not move it and starts typing away on her terminal.

Twenty minutes goes by and another person come. She sees that the gate is not properly set up. She moves the pole over except that the sign is backwards so what is facing the passengers is "thank you for flying United".

This is what happens when you use contract employees. They don't pay attention to details.

And yet ... we look at the other end of the spectrum, when I fly J class on SQ. I go to the lavatory and when I'm back at my seat, my blanket has been folded and waiting for me. Or the ground agent only allows PPS and Star Gold to pre-board and actively tells others to wait.

It's attention to details, customer service, plus a hard product that helps sells an airline in a competitive environment

IMO, outsourcing is not the way to go.

Last edited by sing-along; Feb 20, 14 at 3:34 pm.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:12 pm   #6
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is smisek prepping ua for a hostile takover?
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:19 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
You really do have to wonder if the grand plan is to only have UA ground employees at the hubs when all the cuts are over. Isn't this about 10 stations outsourced now in the last few months?
It certainly looks like it's heading that way. Sad but not unexpected with the way things are going overall.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:20 pm   #8
 
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The outsourced ground handling in YYC is already a disaster. Not looking forward to outsourced GAs.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:35 pm   #9
 
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This is pretty disappointing. UA is already woefully understaffed here at YVR and is usually ill-equipped to deal with IRROPs as it is - I suspect they're the largest foreign carrier here in terms of flights.

Going to be dramatically worse this summer once the cruise ship season starts and frequency increases.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:36 pm   #10
 
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Maybe they'll outsource the ground handling to Air Canada (similar to how United does ground handling for Air Canada at JFK) and maybe these UA employees will get hired back? Fingers crossed that whoever is chosen to handle UA at these stations, the the displaced employees get an opportunity to at least keep a job in some capacity.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:36 pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sing-along View Post
This is what happens when you use contract employees. They don't pay attention to details.

And yet ... we look at the other end of the spectrum, when I fly J class on SQ. I go to the lavatory and when I'm back at my seat, my blanket has been folded and waiting for me. Or the ground agent only allows PPS and Star Gold to pre-board and actively tells others to wait.

It's attention to details, customer service, plus a hard product that helps an airline.

IMO, outsourcing is not the way to go.
I'm no UA apologist, but every airline has pluses and minuses.

Even the exalted SQ. Have you ever dealt with them on the phone? Their outsourced agents are horrible!
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:37 pm   #12
 
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The airline business must be a surreal one for anybody arriving from any other industry... Manufacturing, IT, and customer service businesses all went outsource-crazy in the 90's and 00's. They "saved costs", realized that their product became wildly inconsistent and they lost a lot of control, tried increased management oversight, tried chasing lower costs in emerging service industries, tried other stuff...

Now they're all re-IN-sourcing and still somehow "lowering costs" (as far as they tell their shareholders) by pulling it all back in. Taking advantage of "higher skilled" workers, touting "flexible" cost models, etc...

If a company is badly-enough run that they can't run an efficient operation under their own control, it always astounds me how many companies believe they can run a more-efficient operation by inserting a middle-man and letting somebody else run the same operation while trying to enforce the exact same operations model. This only works when you're talking about un-skilled labor, in highly-structured working environments. That sort of personnel mix would only work in the airline business during those rare instances when absolutely everything is going smoothly and according to plan, with no glitches, and no changing factors...

Dismantling their station network, while maintaining their flight network, is eventually going to go down in business history as a decision about as brilliant as betting the farm on 50-seat RJs.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:41 pm   #13
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[Sarcasm] I can't believe UA fly's to Canada at all, you know because of the star alliances' massive network [/Sarcasm]

to the continued trimming of customer service on the ground. This isn't like when UA outsourced at small domestic airports (my former home ROC for example, is run by AA). YVR, YYC, YYZ are some serious airports, real international gateways. Good luck with irops
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:55 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darlox View Post
The airline business must be a surreal one for anybody arriving from any other industry... Manufacturing, IT, and customer service businesses all went outsource-crazy in the 90's and 00's. They "saved costs", realized that their product became wildly inconsistent and they lost a lot of control, tried increased management oversight, tried chasing lower costs in emerging service industries, tried other stuff...

Now they're all re-IN-sourcing and still somehow "lowering costs" (as far as they tell their shareholders) by pulling it all back in. Taking advantage of "higher skilled" workers, touting "flexible" cost models, etc...

If a company is badly-enough run that they can't run an efficient operation under their own control, it always astounds me how many companies believe they can run a more-efficient operation by inserting a middle-man and letting somebody else run the same operation while trying to enforce the exact same operations model. This only works when you're talking about un-skilled labor, in highly-structured working environments. That sort of personnel mix would only work in the airline business during those rare instances when absolutely everything is going smoothly and according to plan, with no glitches, and no changing factors...

Dismantling their station network, while maintaining their flight network, is eventually going to go down in business history as a decision about as brilliant as betting the farm on 50-seat RJs.
In-sourcing of out stations is unique to the North American market. Many foreign carriers outsource most or all of their outstations. If you manage your vendors well, it is possible to not even know the difference between in- and out-sourced employees.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 3:56 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdlyndon View Post
Maybe they'll outsource the ground handling to Air Canada (similar to how United does ground handling for Air Canada at JFK) and maybe these UA employees will get hired back?
If you're a customer-facing AC employee there's likely an expectation that you're fluent in French. Ridiculous rule for stations like YVR, but there you go.

(Most of the older non-bilingual AC agents are ex-CP.)
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