United Closing Reservations Centers
United Closing Five Reservations Centers, Laying Off About 900 Employees
CHICAGO (AP) -- United Airlines is closing four reservations centers in California and one in Illinois because of a drop in bookings. The decision will mean the layoffs of nearly 900 workers.
The closings take effect Feb. 28 and will cost the jobs of administrative, clerical, sales and service and management employees -- 101 in Rockford, Ill., and the rest in California: 358 in El Segundo, 160 in Moreno Valley, 156 in Burbank and 124 in Suisun City.
The airline said the action is necessary because of the combination of its smaller flight schedule and the soft U.S. economy.
``United has already reduced its overall work force by about 19,000 employees out of 100,000, but very few of United's reductions have occurred in reservations,'' said Joseph Laughlin, vice president for reservations. ``During November and December the reservations offices were busy handling lengthy calls from customers on security issues and re-accommodating passengers on new flights after United went through a major schedule revision. That work is largely completed.''
Some of the furloughed employees will be eligible to relocate to other United offices based on seniority, he said.
United, which trimmed its schedule last fall to about 1,650 daily flights, will now have 4,500 reservations employees in 12 reservations offices, located in Chicago; San Francisco; Long Beach, Calif.; Denver; Detroit; Honolulu; Seattle; Sterling, Va.; and Bloomington, Fort Wayne, South Bend and Indianapolis, Ind.
With the nearly 800 job cuts in California, the airline will still have more than 23,000 employees in that state.