(RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio) – For the second time in eight months, a federal judge in Cleveland has ordered Flexjet and Flight Options to bargain in good faith with more than 600 Teamster pilots, after the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Airline Division and Local 1108 won yet another motion for injunctive relief against the merged carriers.
The judge’s order is another significant victory for the pilots who have been fighting for their federally-protected rights to negotiate a contract in good faith with the carrier.
The court decision finds the company liable for reneging on a Voluntary Separation Package for pilots that was advanced by the union. The decision also said Flight Options/Flexjet did not negotiate in good faith for a joint collective bargaining agreement covering the merged carriers, and it ordered the company to do so.
The Teamsters Union filed the motion for contempt and injunctive relief after Flexjet and Flight Options failed to comply with a May 2016 court order requiring it to negotiate in good faith.
“The court’s ruling provides us with a basis to move forward in a positive direction,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “The union wants to secure much- needed pay increases, benefit and working conditions improvements for these dedicated pilots. In a tight pilot labor market, management’s number one priority should be the same as ours so that they can attract and retain quality pilots. Time will tell whether management prefers more conflict or shares our vision of a more stable company.”
After the court order in May, the union tried to negotiate with the company, but contended in court that the company was not bargaining in good faith. The court agreed.
“As a result of the pilot shortage, the Flight Options and Flexjet pilots have enhanced career prospects at other carriers,” said Efrem Vojta, President of Teamsters Local 1108. “There is no time to waste—management must end the labor strife and work with us to deliver much- needed improvements to pay and working conditions before it’s too late.”
Flexjet and Flight Options, luxury business jet carriers that serve the wealthy and large corporations, operate under the umbrella of aviation parent company One Sky Flight, LLC.
The Teamsters won the right to represent the combined Flexjet and Flight Options pilot group in a National Mediation Board union election in December 2015.
The case was decided in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.