NetJets Pilots Seek Independent Union

 - March 25, 2008, 11:37 AM

The “Strong Union” leaders that helped form IBT Local 1108 to organize fractional pilots in 2004 resigned from the local last week in the wake of “a resurgent decertification movement” being led by a group called NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots. A decertification effort was defeated in 2004 when the NetJets pilots were allowed to switch from Local 284 to form their own local (1108), but NetJets pilot and outgoing IBT 1108 president Bill Olsen said the new effort is being driven by “complaints that are structural in nature.” Topping this list is the fact that 25 percent of union dues–a sum estimated at nearly $1.5 million this year and expected to exceed $2.5 million per year by 2013–goes to the IBT. “The pilot group’s perception is that representation by an independent union…is a better use of dues monies than continuing the current representation structure,” Olsen said in his resignation letter to IBT president James Hoffa. Meanwhile, Flight Options master executive council chairman Mat Slinghoff has been appointed 1108’s executive board trustee to ensure that the local can continue to represent Flight Options pilots.