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.
Hawker Beechcraft last month reported increased orders, improved sales and higher earnings during the second quarter versus the same period last year. Net bookings for the quarter totaled $1.7 billion, resulting in a new record backlog of $7.4 billion, and second-quarter revenues increased by $327.6 million year-over-year to $1.02 billion.
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.
Workers at the IAR Ghimbav helicopter manufacturing plant in Brasov, Romania, have suspended their strike after three days. On May 9, local trade union BNS announced that management and employees had reached an agreement on all six of the workers’ requests, which included salary increases and compensatory wages in the event of massive job cuts after privatization.
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.
Union leaders expected by the end of last month to tally the votes for or against proposed new labor contracts at Mesaba Airlines, which finally managed to reach tentative agreements with its pilots, flight attendants and mechanics after more than a year of wrangling.
NetJets Europe pilots are preparing to establish trade union representation at the fractional ownership company. According to Teamsters union officials, a group of the European pilots is now evaluating four possible options for union representation and it expects to launch the new organization by year-end.
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.