Houston City Council voted 16-1 today to allow Southwest Airlines to pay $100 million to build international facilities at Hobby Airport. Council Member Jerry Davis voted against the proposal because Bush Airport is in his district, and he has many constituents who work there.
Hours after the vote, United announced that it will eliminate 1,300 jobs as “a direct result of the Mayor’s and Council’s action.” This is nothing more than retaliation by United. The international facilities at Hobby haven’t even been built yet. Part of the delay in the project in the first place was the fact that no one could really predict what might happen to United if the expansion went through. To guess that it will cost them 1,300 jobs isn’t just a poor business move on their part. Thousands of their employees have to go home today not knowing if their job will be one of those eliminated because United is trying to make a point. It sounds to me like the only point they are making is that they don’t think they can compete with another company.