Recent media reports have indicated that United Airlines will be shifting resources away from it's Houston hub, as a continuing oil slump reduces demand in energy markets. For IAH, this will mean relocating planes away from Houston, as well as adjusting routes and using smaller planes in some cases.
For many Houston based United Airlines workers, this news has sparked some concern that layoffs might become a possibility, following last year’s severe reductions at several stations and at United’s Cleveland hub.
Local 811 got a chance to ask about this topic with Stephanie Buchanan, the Vice President of the Houston hub. Take a look at her response, and then tell us what you think. What will this mean for ramp workers at IAH?
Local 811: United has recently announced that it will be shifting resources from IAH to DEN and other hubs in response to slower than expected growth in the Houston market. Media coverage of this decision has been unclear, and many IAH agents are starting to get worried. Can you please comment on this, and help workers currently stationed at IAH understand how they might be impacted?
Stephanie Buchanan: The news about the shift in flying away from IAH took me a little by surprise as well, but after talking to the Scheduling group, I don’t think we need to be too concerned. We may reduce some frequencies to some oil markets, but we won’t shrink dramatically and I don’t expect this to impact our staffing negatively in any way. I’ll make sure all the leadership has this message so we can be sure we are sharing this and putting people’s fears at ease.
So, what do you think? Is the recent news that United will be scaling back some of it's investments in Houston going to mean a light summer for ramp workers? Or is this something that you think that IAH should be concerned about? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook.