Continental's CEO meets with employees

HOUSTON Continental CEO Jeff Smisek held two meeting with employees here in Houston Friday. He came face to face with more than 3,200 employees to talk about the merger between Continental and United airlines. These were closed meetings. Employees had to show a badge to get in.

Many of them privately told me they were excited for details about what this merger would mean for them, but then were disappointed to get vague answers to their questions and little reassurance about their job status.

Employees were told they won't see any changes before the end of 2010, but that layoffs are likely in the next two years because, as with any merger, there will be overlap in positions.

"He starts the meeting out with a little bit of an update to the reasoning behind the merger, then opens it up to questions from employees so he can hear what's on their minds and address their individual concerns," explained Continental spokesperson Julie King.

One Continental employee wrote me an email after Friday morning's meeting saying "we really learned nothing new ... Many of my co-workers asked about our reservations center and about our (job) security. He skimmed over it and kept saying he does not know yet."

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