Flight Options Pilot Union Seeks Mediation
On behalf of the approximately 575 Flight Options pilots, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108 last week filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB), saying that contract negotiations between the pilot group and the fractional provider’s management team have “broken down.” Negotiations on the initial work contract between the parties began in June 2006, not long after the Flight Options pilots voted for union representation under IBT 1108. “The current management group is out of touch with its pilots’ legitimate career aspirations,” Local 1108 president Greg Rountree said. “They are responsible for rates of pay and working conditions that fall far below the industry standard.” In fact, Flight Options’ pilot payscale is now the lowest of all the major fractional providers. According to IBT 1108, Flight Options management “complains about the pace of bargaining,” while at the same time refusing to accelerate the pace of the contract talks. Rountree said negotiations last month failed to produce a single agreement. In the meantime, the union wants to continue to negotiate directly with company representatives while it awaits an NMB-assigned mediator. A Flight Options spokeswoman said the company won’t comment on pilot negotiations.