Home>Articles>Menendez, Booker want United Airlines to nix bid to outsource catering jobs

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez, left, and Cory Booker at a press conference to discuss Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record on civil rights on September 10, 2018 (NEW JERSEY GLOBE PHOTO)

Menendez, Booker want United Airlines to nix bid to outsource catering jobs

By Nikita Biryukov, May 05 2021 3:44 pm

U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-North Bergen) and Cory Booker (D-Newark) urged the U.S. Treasury and United Airlines to halt a plan to move 2,500 catering jobs out of the country Wednesday.

The lawmakers said United moved to pay its executives hefty bonuses while preparing to outsource catering jobs from Newark, Honolulu, Cleveland, Denver and Houston. They warned the latter move would harm workers and potentially quash a successful 2018 unionization push.

“Instead of working towards outsourcing jobs, United should use the time afforded by the Payroll Support Program to engage in good faith negotiations with these employees and their union, who have been working without a contract for over two years and whose work has helped United survive during this challenging period,” they said to United CEO Scott Kirby.

The airline received billions of dollars in federal aid under the Payroll Support Program, which over the last year has provided $48 billion in direct aid to airlines, with the bulk going to passenger air carriers.

The program initially bared executive bonuses, but that prohibition lapsed once airlines stopped receiving payments through PSP.

“We believe it is inconsistent with Congress’ intent in creating the PSP program for airlines to outsource jobs while committing to bonuses for top executives once the PSP program restrictions on executive compensation have expired,” the senators said in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “We respectfully ask you to require any new PSP agreement with United Airlines or any applicant require the airline to refrain from outsourcing jobs and to rescind or refrain from making any commitments to provide executive bonuses while airlines are receiving payments under the PSP.”

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