Newsom praises efforts of United Airlines’ management to keep local employees 

Mayor Gavin Newsom and other Bay Area politicians praised the employment practices of United Airlines, which vowed to keep its employees in the region despite the company’s recent merger with Continental.

United is a major employer at San Francisco International Airport, maintaining over 9,150 jobs in the hub, with its flights accounting for 41 percent of all airport traffic out of SFO. On May 2, United and Continental agreed in principle to a $3 billion merger, prompting concern that the airlines were set to embark on massive employee layoffs.

However, after being questioned by local Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Creek, in Wednesday’s House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing, United CEO Glen Tilton pledged to keep the airline’s heavy base of employees at SFO should a merger be finalized.

“Amidst a growing recession, United’s commitment not to move further jobs or facilities out of San Francisco is an important boost for the long-term growth of our regional economy and SFO,” Newsom said in a statement Thursday.

Garamendi and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, also offered similar words of praise.

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Will Reisman

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