The Associated Press March 26, 2010, 6:21PM ET

Continental Airlines to eliminate 150 jobs

Continental Airlines Inc. said Friday it will lay off 150 ground workers including bag handlers at seven U.S. airports and hire contractors to do the work.

Continental said the layoffs would occur June 1 in Providence, R.I.; Greensboro, N.C.; Richmond and Norfolk, Va.; Pensacola, Fla.; St. Louis and Kansas City. Company spokeswoman Julie King said employees were notified Thursday.

The Houston company, the fourth-largest U.S. airline, made the move after studying whether to use contractors for certain ground jobs where it operates only regional service.

King said the seven airports were the only all-regional service airports where Continental still uses its own employees for ground handling work.

Continental had about 41,300 employees on Dec. 31, according to a recent regulatory filing.

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