Breaking Travel News

US Airways Call Centers to be Consolidated

US Airways announced
today that Winston-Salem, N.C., will be the site of its consolidated
reservations call and service centers. In accordance with the Transformation Plan agreement reached with the
Communications Workers of America (CWA), the union representing US
Airways’ call- and service-center employees, US Airways will consolidate
existing facilities, offer all employees the opportunity to transfer with
some relocation assistance, and if they choose not to transfer, provide an
early- out package consisting of enhanced severance, airline pass travel,
extended medical benefits, and professional outplacement and job

As a result, the company will reassign job functions at its reservations
center in Greentree, Pa., its baggage service call center in RIDC Park,
Findlay Township, Pa., and Dividend Miles Service Center at Smith-Reynolds
Airport in Winston-Salem, to its existing reservations call center on
Hanes Mall Boulevard in Winston-Salem.

“During our negotiations with the CWA, the company’s need for cost
reductions, and the union’s desire for an early-out incentive program, led
to discussion and eventual agreement on a plan that meets our mutual
objectives,” said Kerry J. Carstairs, US Airways vice president of direct
distribution. “Today’s announcement is consistent with our collective
bargaining agreement and as difficult as this decision is, it is a
necessary cost-savings initiative and an important step in the successful
implementation of US Airways’ Transformation Plan.”

The consolidation will begin in early April and is expected to be
completed by the end of the third quarter 2005. The number of employees
who will transfer is to be determined. Employees will have 45 days to
decide whether or not to take the early out package. Once the program
closes, the company will have an additional 30 days to inform employees of
when they will be released by the company.

The airline’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Christopher L.
Chiames thanked state and local officials in both North Carolina and
Pennsylvania for their efforts in working with US Airways. “It came down
to the fact that our existing facility in Winston-Salem has the space and
features necessary for a consolidated center. While both locations offered
incentives, the cost-benefit analysis by the company favored retaining the
Winston-Salem operation, rather than building and relocating to a new
facility in Pittsburgh.” Chiames said that with the IAM’s ratification of
new labor agreements on Friday, the airline can move forward on plans to
keep heavy maintenance operations in both Pittsburgh and Charlotte, and is
already in discussions with local officials about the scope of those


US Airways currently has approximately 785 active reservations sales
representatives in the Greentree center, approximately 45 employees in the
baggage call center at RIDC Park, approximately 110 employees in the
Winston- Salem Dividend Miles Service Center, and approximately 850
employees at the 100,000-square-foot Hanes Mall facility in Winston-Salem.
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and the Winston-Salem City
Council will, respectively, hold public hearings and votes on any
incentives for which US Airways qualifies.