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American Airlines expecting pickets

Outsourcing is rarely any less than controversial, particularly when unions and other stakeholders don’t perceive the need for it. And as we’ve highlighted before in this news feed, the airline industry has a habit of outsourcing without feeling any great love from its staff.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that the Dallas Business Journal is predicting over 1000 people will turn out today to protest American Airlines’ decision to go for outsourcing, which will cover ground staff and maintenance workers. The union wants to start negotiating to preserve jobs; the airline perceives that it will be insufficiently profitable to compete if it doesn’t do something to change its arrangements.

The union also raises issues about safety, to which the airline would no doubt counter that this would be built into any engagements into which it might enter with a third party (you’d at least hope so). The airline, according to the report, also makes the point that the new facility into which the new jobs will be going isn’t all that new at all as the jobs are already being done elsewhere, they’re just “putting a roof over it” so that it looks like a bigger deal than it actually is.

The fact that American Airlines appears to have increased pay for its flight staff earlier this year will have done little to cheer people up about all this, we suspect.

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