United Airlines says it has found a way to keep 688 flight attendants it had planned to furlough.
The airline says it will offer all of them jobs in its Continental unit. The two airlines merged in 2010 and both fly under the United name, but they still have separate flight crews.
The airline has said it has too many flight attendants on the United side and not enough on the Continental side. A plan to move flight attendants from one to the other was rejected by the Association of Flight Attendants.
“Successful airlines do not lay off workers, they work with the union for solutions,” Greg Davidowtich, president of the United Master Executive Council, said in a statement. “AFA will continue to pursue any and all opportunities that mitigate the devastating effects this decision will have on those being laid off, and on our company as a whole. We will continue to advocate to management to find alternatives that avoid job loss, and work collaboratively for creative and reasonable solutions. It’s not too late to turn this thing around, management can still choose to do the right thing.”
The company, United Continental Holdings Inc., is going around the union with its latest move. It will offer flight attendants jobs at Continental on April 1, the same day they are furloughed from United.
Last April, United Airlines announced it was cutting roughly 600 jobs to keep costs in line with reductions in flying.
The positions cut included management and administration and came after United reported a loss of $723 million for 2012.
The company employs about 84,000 people worldwide.