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United Airlines Contracts With IAM Reverse the Trend to Outsourcing

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Newly signed contracts between United Airlines (UAL - Get Report) and its largest union have an unprecedented effect: They bring back work that had been outsourced and they protect thousands of other jobs from being outsourced in the foreseeable future.

Under the contracts, which are scheduled to be signed Monday, about 400 to 500 fleet service and passenger service agent jobs for United Express at Los Angeles International and San Francisco International airports were brought under the jurisdiction of the International Association of Machinists, which represents 30,000 United workers.

"We never had this before," said Mike Klemm, president of IAM District 141. "The unprecedented thing is that no {major airline} contract has ever been able to protect regional flying until now."

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During the tumultuous early years of the 21st century, when the U.S. airline industry lost tens of billions of dollars and nearly every major legacy airline experienced bankruptcies, union protection was widely eroded. The United/IAM contracts reverse that trend.

Must Read: United Airlines' Contract Progress Draws Labor into Hedge Fund Battles

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