Approximately 300 pilots and other employees of NetJets took to the picket lines yesterday in a three-pronged “informational” protest outside the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary’s Columbus, Ohio headquarters and at its bases at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and California’s John Wayne Orange County Airport.
A meeting between company officials and the Flight Options pilot union planned for today and tomorrow is intended to address issues arising from the consolidation of fractional-share operations Flexjet and Flight Options. Flight Options parent Directional Aviation Capital purchased Flexjet from Bombardier last December for about $195 million.
CitationAir became the third of the four major jet fractional providers to have a unionized pilot workforce last month, with 52 percent of the more than 350 CitationAir pilots voting in favor of representation. Pilot voting turnout was “high,” International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) 1108 president Mat Slinghof told AIN, and only a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) was needed for the union to be voted in.
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) and high-time general aviation pilot Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) have introduced bipartisan legislation that would ensure good-faith collective bargaining for FAA employees and provide for an impartial impasse resolution process. At the same time, it would restart contract talks between the agency and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca).
Next to fighter jocks, helicopter pilots are probably the most iconoclastic flavor of aviators flying today. That’s why the issue of unionization can be so sensitive. Both Petroleum Helicopters Inc. and Air Log have unionized pilot workforces. Both made the transition in widely different ways.
Claiming already to represent some 1,100 professional helicopter pilots and maintenance personnel, the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA) has officially opened its doors. Beginning life as part of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), the new union got its start with the organized employees of Gulf of Mexico operators Air Logistics and Petroleum Helicopters Inc.
After 10 years of litigation, a federal arbitrator awarded United Airlines flight attendants $8.89 million in connection with a claim by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) that United’s 1992 purchase of the original Air Wisconsin violated a so-called scope side letter in its collective-bargaining agreement.