As United weighs outsourcing catering, U.S. lawmakers demand new curbs on federal support By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A United Airways passenger jet lands at Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

By Tracy Rucinski and David Shepardson

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bunch of U.S. lawmakers is demanding that airways chorus from outsourcing jobs in the event that they need to be eligible for a 3rd spherical of federal payroll support, after studying that United Airways has sought bids to outsource catering work at 5 airports.

Round two dozen members of U.S. Congress made the request to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in keeping with letters launched by Unite Right here, the union representing greater than 2,500 staff whose jobs are in danger beneath United’s proposal.

Chicago-based United has obtained $7.7 billion in two COVID-19 reduction offers, generally known as payroll help packages (PSP), to assist the airline business climate the pandemic and shield jobs. United stands to obtain one other $2.8 billion beneath a 3rd package deal set to run via Sept. 30.

“We respectfully request that any new PSP funds to United Airways and different carriers clarify that any outsourcing of jobs whereas receiving PSP funds would violate the phrases of this system,” seven senators wrote in a Might 4 letter to Yellen, who has authority over the phrases of the help.

Treasury didn’t instantly touch upon the letter.

United spokeswoman Leigh Schramm stated the corporate has not but made any selections to maneuver ahead with a third-party vendor for its inflight catering companies after looking for proposals in January.

“Given the unprecedented influence of COVID-19 on our enterprise, United continues to discover methods to do issues in another way and change into extra environment friendly wherever we are able to,” she stated, including that the outsourcing proposal is “a part of that effort.”

Union members and the lawmakers who signed the letters say United’s proposal — which might influence staff in Newark, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; and Honolulu, Hawaii — violates the spirit of the help.

A Treasury official stated extra info on the third tranche of airline help could be posted subsequent week.

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