In an effort to keep costs down, United Airlines plans to layoff about 66 employees from Jacksonville International Airport. A spokeswoman, Luke Punzenberger, said that this was not an easy decision for the company – but it is a necessary one.
Punzenberger contested that, “this is to ensure our costs are competitive. A lot of our competitors have workforce agreements in these markets that allow them to operate at a more competitive rate than United. This change will enable us to be more cost competitive in markets like Jacksonville.”
The positions most affected include those below and above the wing; such as: baggage handlers, ramp workers, and customer service representatives. Most of the workers facing layoffs have already been made aware, and if eligible, have the option to relocate to another airport in another position.
While the reported layoffs are effective May 17-31, the airline has yet to even respond to the many questions concerning the airline layoffs. The most information they released was in January, when they announced that they were considering cutting up to 2,000 jobs at 28 airports – including Jacksonville International Airport – and planned to outsource the work to various contractors.
The move comes after United’s decision over a year ago, to outsource 600 plus jobs to 12 airports throughout the country. The incident last year mostly affected airports fulfilled by smaller United Express regional flights.
As of late, United was discussing the layoff situation with representatives of the affected workers, the International Association of Machinists, and Aerospace Workers.
If you are moving to Jacksonville and will be traveling by plane, the layoffs should not affect your flights and the prices should remain low as a result.