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United announces workforce reduction

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - It's been a trying week for employees with United Airlines on Guam, after finding out that they may no longer have a job by the end of this year.  Several reservation workers with the airline got notification letters Tuesday of their impending furlough, stating that United has made a business decision to reduce its workforce.

United employees were also notified that the furlough follow the tentative November 9 closure of its call center located at Century Plaza in Tamuning. The airlines City Ticket Office will remain open at that location. Sources say united reservation employees at the call center have seniority with the company, and will be transferred to the Guam International Airport following the anticipated closure. But this leaves several currently at the airport without a job come December.

United director of corporate communications for the Asia-Pacific Region, Koji Nagata, confirms the company is reorganizing its facilities such as its contact, as part of a company wide initiative to increase efficiency and achieve sustained profitability. He goes on to state United is in discussion with the employees affected, providing them with appropriate support and assistance.

There are currently 48 employees working at the Tamuning Office, and the airline states it is in the process of determining the right mix of full- and part-time employees needed to staff that facility. It's unknown at this time just how many employees will be let go, however employees who did receive furlough notices tell us that the airline is looking into other options such as offering employees who are not impacted by this furlough to either take an early out or accept one year of leave.

In the meantime, United adds they are in the works of outsourcing its cargo department, which include agents, management and clerical staff. The airline will says it will choose a vendor once they complete evaluating all proposals. United adds its difficult to determine at this time how many positions will be eliminated, as under the current collective bargaining agreement, employees affected by this decision may have displacement rights and other options.

United points out that it remains committed to its Guam hub, as the territory is one of ten worldwide hubs for the company. 

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