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.
Comair reached concessionary labor agreements with its mechanics and flight attendants late last month, but at press time a deal with its pilots continued to elude the Cincinnati-based regional, a major portion of whose route network stands subject to outsourcing by Delta Air Lines to independent carriers.
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.
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.
The two sides in the Sikorsky factory strike are no closer to resolving their differences after nearly a week of tense picketing. About 3,600 production workers at Sikorsky factories in Connecticut and Florida walked out last Monday, blaming a contract proposal that would force them to pay more for medical benefits.
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.
The pilots of St. Louis-based Trans States Holdings subsidiary GoJet Airlines have elected the Teamsters union as their collective bargaining representative. The Teamsters filed for representation with the National Mediation Board on September 15, the day GoJet flew its first revenue flight, and after six months of lobbying received near unanimous approval from the approximately 100 pilots.