United Airlines is outsourcing to cut costs, and as of Tuesday, 69 baggage handlers and ticket agents at Bradley International Airport lost their jobs with the airline.
United is hiring contractors to fill the positions at Bradley and more than a dozen other airports.
"These were difficult decisions," said Luke Punzenberger, a spokesman for United, "but we want to make sure out costs are competitive."
He said there is no change in schedule for United. The employees are all Machinists Union members, eligible to bump someone with less experience in order to stay with the airline. But if they do, they'll no longer be working at Bradley.
"That's really ridiculous," said Charles Foster. "I've got a few friends who work at the airport doing luggage, cleaning out the airplanes and stuff like that."
The job market locally will be tough for those deciding to stay put, according to one jobseeker.
"If they don't have a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, it's difficult for everybody, you know?" said Kelly Desroches, a Newington resident looking for a secretarial position. "I'm going back to school right now. I was in the mortgage business for a little bit."