A Delta plane can be see at a gate at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus. (Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)
Delta Airlines has jobbed out maintenance and service workers at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport with layoff notices coming in April after new contractors take control of the support positions.
The job cuts will affect 741 workers but just how many will remain out of work is unclear. Morgan Durrant, a spokesman for Delta Airlines, said the employees will be able to re-apply for their jobs.
“Our expectation is that as this transition is happening, the new providers will look to the old workforce,” Durrant said. “We expect the incoming vendors to look to the existing workforce and utilize that institutional knowledge and skill.”
DAL Global Services, an airline subsidiary, will be making the cuts, according to a document filed by the company with Michigan’s Department of Career Development.
The layoffs will come on or around April 15, the company said. Jobs being cut include 141 cabin service agents, 380 ramp agents, 77 cabin provision agents and 50 ramp supervisors. Delta is switching from DAL Global Services to two new contractors: Prospect, which will be responsible for cabin cleaning, and Menzies Aviation, which will handle baggage and marshalling out on the tarmac. The changes only affect regional flights where planes seat between 50 and 76 passengers, said Morgan Durrant, a spokesman for Delta Airlines.
Durrant said the switch to new contractors is a standard move for the business when it re-evaluates its needs. He declined to elaborate on the reason for the switch.
According to the document filed with the state on Wednesday, the outgoing provider could also provide assistance for placing laid-off employees in other jobs.
“While DAL Global Services will work with its employees in placing them in available positions in other cities, employees may not necessarily receive the city which is their first choice,” the company said in the letter to the state. “Those affected employees who are not willing to transfer will be furloughed.”
Durrant said the layoffs only affect staffers at Detroit Metro Airport.
Last year 32.4 million people flew through the airport, said spokesman Michael Conway. He said 18,100 employees work at the airport.
As for the layoffs, he said he isn’t expecting many jobs to be eliminated.
“If there’s any net loss in the jobs at the airport, they would be minimal,” said Conway. “They’re still going to need the same services done.”