In the continuing legal saga involving hundreds of helicopter pilots employed by Lafayette, La.-based PHI, a spokesperson for the pilots’ union told AIN on December 12 that the parties have agreed to court-supervised mediation in an attempt to resolve their differences and get the pilots back to work.
The union representing air traffic controllers rejected the FAA’s call last month for federal mediation to help the agency reach a new labor agreement with controllers, labeling it a “publicity stunt.” A 1998 contract expired on September 30, and the FAA suggests that little progress has been made since it and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association began negotiations on July 13.
Contract negotiations between NetJets management and the leadership of Local 1108, which represents the fractional provider’s pilots, seem to have gone from bad to worse, according to the union. The union said that mediated negotiations last month didn’t bring the two groups together but split them farther apart. NetJets management declined to comment.
According to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108, the union representing NetJets pilots, 93 percent of voting members have authorized a strike, should the National Mediation Board (NMB) release the group for self help. At present, the NMB has put contract negotiations between the NetJets’ pilots and management on hold, though the two groups are engaged in non-mediated bargaining sessions.
Start-up Waypoint Partners of Fort Lauderdale is a new member of the industry, specializing in the monitoring of cabin completion, extensive refurbishment and modification of business aircraft. The company’s three principals–Michael Sowa, Kenneth Murray and Robert Liddell–have a total of more than 75 years of experience in the aviation industry.
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