Hundreds of United and Continental airlines pilots were out in full force at Newark Liberty International Airport Monday protesting the company’s practice of outsourcing their work to smaller regional airlines.
The pilots fear that with the merger of the two carriers the practice of outsourcing will grow, meaning less work or in some cases no work for pilots.
Over 300 pilots were outside Terminal C Monday afternoon with such signs as “United Against Outsourcing” and “Who’s Flying Your Plane” in hand while customers walked in and out of the airport.
According to the Airlines Pilots Association, the protests were scheduled to take place over three days with off-duty pilots marching in Newark on Monday, Houston on Tuesday and Chicago next Wednesday.
Under a new contract the airline is hoping to outsource work to smaller carriers which carry up to 70 passengers on-board. Currently Continental is only allowed to outsource to partners that carry up to 50 passengers on their jets.
Pilots are worried that they will see less work or no work if the new deal goes into effect. United already has 1,400 pilots on furlough, Continental has about 140 pilots on furlough.
United Continental Holdings denies the claim by the pilots union and says that workers will not be effected by the new deal. The carriers are expected to redeploy about 300 planes, which will be operated under United Express, in order to meet high demand and improve profitability.
Source: Houston Chronicle