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Posted: Monday, March 24th, 2014 11:58 AM HST

United mulls outsourcing some Hawaii operations

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) United Airlines could lay off more than 220 employees in Lihue, Kahului and Kona as it considers outsourcing some Hawaii ground operations.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the airline told workers at the three Hawaii airports and 12 small mainland airports that it's examining market rates for ground operations work.

The airline says it pays the same labor rates in all markets but its major competitors pay rates in line with each local market. United spokesman Christen David says the difference puts the company at a competitive disadvantage and it must look for ways to ensure its cost structure is more in line with other airlines.

The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Local 141, which covers the affected Hawaii employees, said in a bulletin that United contracts include language that prevents the company from unilaterally deciding to outsource work without first negotiating with the union over every airport considered.

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