United Airlines catering workers worry their jobs are up in the air

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The union representing United Airlines catering workers said the group plans to protest at Denver International Airport on Wednesday amid concerns that 2,500 catering jobs are at stake after the union said United announced it would outsource its inflight catering services.

A spokesperson for UNITE HERE, the union representing catering workers, said United made the announcement it would outsource its inflight catering work without giving workers any assurances that their jobs, pay, and benefits will be protected.

The union said workers are also frustrated by this job insecurity after United Airlines received billions of dollars in federal relief money to keep workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The union said 2,500 catering jobs at stake are currently covered by the Payroll Support Program.

UNITE HERE said United Airlines’ catering workers are predominately people of color and immigrants. Of the 2,500 catering jobs at the heart of this issue, 500 are based in Denver.

Catering workers plan to protest at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the DEN plaza, between the main terminal and Westin hotel.

United Airlines shared this statement with FOX31 on Wednesday morning:

Although United has submitted an exploratory RFP, we have not made any decisions to move forward with a third-party vendor at this time. Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on our business, United continues to explore ways to do things differently and become more efficient wherever we can – this RFP is part of that effort. We regularly explore third-party partnerships that have the potential to make us more efficient and improve the experience for our customers.

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