United’s labor relations in the late 90s and what it tells us about government programs

In yesterday’s New York Times, Louis Uchitelle told the story of United Airlines’ Indianapolis maintenance center.

It was hugely productive and brought in revenue from other airlines outsourcing their own maintenance work. Labor relations deterioriated and so did productivity. The airline gave in to union demands for wages, but those wages meant that maintenance costs were far above competitive alternatives. So the airline outsourced work and layed off workers.

But the point of the piece is an interesting insight into job training programs. Very few of them actually funnel people into work, and it’s often the case that what unemployed workers lack isn’t training.

An interesting read.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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