Sun County Airlines will outsource 20% of its workforce, announcing it will layoff 350 ground workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).
These positions include “below-wing” ground workers, ticket counter agents, sky caps and those who assist passengers with wheelchairs.
Here’s the sad thing. Sun Country will contract these (non-union) jobs to Global Aviation Services LLC. Global Aviation Services has announced everyone who currently is employed by Sun Country will have a “preferable access” to work for the new company….but there’s a catch.
Wages and benefits at Global Aviation Services LLC, a Canadian company, are far less than what Sun Country paid.
I know an airline is answerable to its shareholders. I also know that Sun County is business to make money, not provide employment. But I cannot think of a bigger slap in the face than telling loyal, long-term employees they can now do the same job for a few dollars less per hour and no healthcare.
And yet I don’t dismiss the economic reality of an era of “full employment” or that Global Aviation Services will have to pay up if the displaced Sun County workers band together and refuse to work for slave wages.
It merits mentions that Sun County is hardly the first airline to do this. In fact, it is one of the last. The legacy carriers and low-cost carriers contracted out these positions years ago. Sun Country itself has already done this outside of its MSP hub.
Sun Country President and CEO Jude Bricker defended the move as best possible, telling the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
We want to concentrate on flying airplanes and selling tickets. That doesn’t mean we change our view on customer service. It doesn’t. It just means that we want to bring in a company that specializes specifically on ground operations to run our Minneapolis ground operations.
Sun County is transforming itself into an ultra low-cost-carrier. I questioned recently whether the airline can survive and still question the carrier’s long-term viability if it is just going to mimic Spirit and Frontier.
> Read More: Can Sun Country Airlines Survive? I Doubt It.
> Read More: Sun Country First Class Los Angeles to Minneapolis Review