One area where El Salvador has been attracting jobs recently involves outsourcing efforts by US-based airlines. A recent article on the Transportation Workers Union web site discusses how JetBlue and AmericaWest airlines both have outsourced maintenance work to Aeroman, the maintenance subsidiary of El Salvador based Grupo Taca.
JetBlue Airways doesn't offer passenger service to El Salvador. But this year, the discount airline will fly at least 17 of its 68 Airbus A320 jets to that country. There, over six days, local mechanics working for an aircraft-overhaul shop under contract to JetBlue will inspect each plane nose to tail. They'll examine hydraulic and pneumatic systems, lubricate joints, service brakes and paint tray tables and toilet seats. Then the jets will fly back to the U.S.
America West Airlines also is sending some of its planes to El Salvador for checkups required by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
This week also brings stories about the decision of US Airways, which recently cancelled its scheduled flights to El Salvador, to outsource call center functions to El Salvador. If you lose your luggage on a US Airways flight now, the person you talk to on the phone will be working in El Salvador as an employee of the Spanish corporation, Atento.
At some level these stories are about the tragedies of globalization -- lower wage employers in El Salvador compete for and get jobs formerly filled by workers in the United States. What is good for workers in El Salvador can mean unemployment in certain communities in the United States. There are no easy answers.