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United Employees Protest Plan to Cut Jobs in Denver

United Employees Protest Plan to Cut Jobs in Denver
Joe Cortez

After announcing a hiring spree due to the continued recovery of the aviation industry, a group of United Airlines catering employees in Denver are protesting their potential outsourcing. The group says the airline never came to the negotiating table, whine United says they are exploring new efficiencies.

A group of United Airlines employees is accusing the carrier of not valuing their jobs, despite announcing a major hiring effort for pilots. Denver ABC affiliate KMGH reports airline catering employees organized under Unite Here are picketing against the airline, accusing United of attempting to outsource their jobs.

Employees Say United Attempting Outsourcing, While United Says It’s Exploring Efficiencies

The picketing employees are among a group of 500 based in Denver out of 2,500 across the country. They are accusing United of opening a request for proposal to potentially outsource the catering jobs, instead of negotiating with the union.

If United were to select another company to take the jobs, the employees say it would take them months to find new work. Considering that the aviation industry is still recovering, the group worries that they may not be able to join another airline.

“Saving money is difficult because… the wages are not that high,” Rose Medina, a Unite Here leader, told KMGH. “Because most people are looking for the flight benefits, I honestly think a lot them will try to find jobs with other airlines, and a lot of them are not hiring at this moment.”

In a statement to KMGH, a spokesperson for United said this is part of a regular evaluation cycle. The airline says the RFP is part of an effort “to explore ways to do things differently and become more efficient wherever we can,” and a third-party partnership may not just save money, but also “make us more efficient and improve the experience for our customers.”

Economists Say Airline Industry on Verge of Recovery

Although the employees are worried about their jobs, analysts say the airlines could be on the verge of recovery. A number of investment firms are getting bullish on air carrier stocks, after hiring restarts and more flyers are preparing for summer travel.

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1 Comment

  1. DEN

    April 7, 2021 at 2:38 am

    How much should people get paid for loading snack boxes into carts? Even if United MADE the snack boxes locally, not much culinary skill is required to assemble them?

    For the past year, Denver has mostly served domestic markets not requiring complex meals for wide body international flights, requiring highly skilled labor. Even before that, Denver is better known for several kitchen shutdowns due to sanitation issues….. the last one that crippled inflight meal service for months.

    Interesting move on United’s part…..send a message to the Union pre-negotiation that they know what the costs should/could be.

    United has always been…..thrifty when it comes to cost cutting.


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