United Airlines will not outsource management jobs to India and claims that its recent job postings were in error.
United Airlines Posts Jobs In India
In 2015 United launched an India Knowledge Center (IKC) as an extension of its U.S. data analytics teams. The IKC, located in Gurgaon about 30 minute from New Delhi in the state of Haryana, currently has 250 employees across over 20 departments.
The ICK is run by Divya Nanavaty, who notes on her LinkedIN page “she is actively working on doubling team size to support additional areas.” Nanavaty started with Continental Airlines in 2005 in Houston and is responsible for conceptualizing and establishing United’s management operations in India (a different division than the call enters, which were part of pre-merger United).
The ever-prescient JonNYC noticed that United appeared to be re-hiring critical positions it had laid off in the USA:
I wonder how the President/other politicians feel about this?
“It’s becoming evident that United Airlines is taking this opportunity to immediately replace laid off American workers with low-paid new hires in Gurgaon India.
Positions that have been eliminated in Chicago often..
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) August 26, 2020
Those positions included:
- Analyst, Network Planning
- Senior Analyst, Network Planning
- Senior Analyst, Revenue Strategy
- Manager, Revenue Strategy
- Senior Manager, Sales Program
And to underscore the financial incentive of such a move, each job description noted:
“This position is offered on local terms and conditions. Expatriate assignments and sponsorship for employment visas, even on a time-limited visa status, will not be awarded.”
Was United really outsourcing jobs to India while taking U.S. tax dollars to support its operations? Was United really arguing it needed billions in additional funds to “save U.S. jobs” while immediately replacing U.S. workers with low-paid equivalents in India?
I asked United.
United Airlines Says “Oops”…Its Recent India Job Postings Were In Error
A spokesperson told me:
“A limited number of non-critical, new positions were recently posted in error and we are taking them down. While United instituted a hiring freeze several months ago, we have a small number of critical roles to backfill across our airline as a result of employees taking early retirement or voluntarily separating from United. All of these U.S. based, critical roles will remain in the United States.”
We can only speculate whether this was an error in timing or an error in getting caught, but these jobs will apparently not be moving to India. In this political climate, whatever the motive, United was smart just to remove the job listings and move on.
We live in a global economy and the human capital in India is vast, with the nexus between knowledge and labor as a distinct comparative advantage. But when a company is asking for handouts from U.S. taxpayers to keep U.S. jobs, that sort of outsourcing just doesn’t fly…