Three of the five pilots for Cleveland-based fractional aircraft operator Flight Options who are trying to organize pilots under International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108 (the same union that represents NetJets fractional pilots) told AIN that they soon expect to have enough organizing cards to call a vote.
Change to Win Federation
On October 29, more than four out of every five of the unionized pilots at fractional provider NetJets voted to reject a tentative agreement (TA) reached in late August (see AIN November, page 4), sending a strong message to their now former master executive council (MEC) members, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 284 and the company itself.
On December 23 NetJets pilots overwhelmingly elected the five-member master executive council (MEC) slate known as Strong Union. Eighty-nine percent of the more than 1,900-strong unionized fractional pilot workforce supported the candidates and delivered a vote of no confidence to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 284.
Since the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108 filed an application letter to the National Mediation Board (NMB) for representation of the 830 Flight Options pilots earlier this month, the fractional provider has increased efforts to thwart the union drive. It has set up a Web site to provide information to the pilot workforce about unions and, according to NMB filings, hired union-busting law firm Ford & Harrison.
Last Thursday’s union victory for the Flight Options pilots has received mixed reactions.
Members of the Teamsters union that represents mechanics, aircraft fuelers and other support personnel conducted what they called "informational picketing" at the NBAA Convention this week and elsewhere against their employer, fractional provider NetJets.
First it was NetJets’ pilots who picketed and finally got a new labor contract; now it’s the fractional’s mechanics and other support personnel who on Friday began “informational picketing” at the company’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Their contract became renewable in January last year.
After the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) voided the late October MEC elections due to balloting concerns, the NetJets pilots finally were scheduled to vote in new union leaders on December 22 (results are posted on www.ain-online.com). The pilot group has been without peer representation since November 1, when the terms of the former MEC members expired.
Early last month the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 1108 filed an application letter to the National Mediation Board (NMB) for representation of the 830 Flight Options pilots.
Late last month Sikorsky said it remained “open for business” as a strike by production workers entered its second month. At press time the Teamsters union members had rejected a revised offer from management.