Allegiant Mechanics file for Teamster representation
On December 13th, Allegiant Airlines mechanics and related technicians filed a petition for representation by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters with the National Mediation Board (NMB).
The petition is supported by an overwhelming majority of the eligible workers, more than meeting the 50 percent interest threshold established by the NMB. It is expected to trigger an election to determine the workers’ collective bargaining representative. Under the Railway Labor Act, it will be a secret ballot election.
Allegiant Airlines employs about 350 mechanics and related technicians, primarily in Las Vegas and in Sanford, Florida, but also in 10 other stations throughout the country. The Teamsters already represent pilots and flight dispatchers employed by Allegiant Airlines.
“We’re expecting the National Mediation Board to set a date for the election sometime in the next two months,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “The mechanics at Allegiant Airlines recognize the power that Teamster representation brings to their co-workers as well as mechanics at companies like United Airlines and UPS Air Cargo, and they want in on the action.”
Teamsters, ExpressJet ERJ Reach Tentative Agreement
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and ExpressJet ERJ have successfully concluded negotiations, resulting in a tentative agreement. The agreement covers approximately 500 mechanics, technicians and tool room attendants that are members of Teamster Locals 19, 210, 781, 783 and 964.
The IBT negotiating team was comprised of Teamsters Airline Division representatives, representatives from each of the locals and rank and file committee members. It contains significant improvements in wages while maintaining current benefit levels.
An agreement in principle was reached on December 6. The final contract language agreed upon by the union and ExpressJet ERJ will be put before the membership for a ratification vote beginning on Jan. 4, 2018, and the agreement will become amendable one year after the date of ratification.
“I am pleased that the ExpressJet ERJ Negotiating Committee was able to reach an agreement with the company that improves standards while also being amenable to all parties involved,” said Captain David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division.
Teamster Mechanics and Related Employees Ratify Agreement with NetJets
NetJets aircraft technicians and related employees ratified a new six-year collective bargaining agreement with the Columbus-based business jet operator. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Teamsters Airline Division and Teamsters Local 284 represent 212 aircraft mechanics, maintenance controllers, stock clerks, aircraft fuelers and aircraft cleaners at the company.
“After more than six years of negotiations, our members secured a new contract with major improvements, including an immediate 20 percent wage increase, additional pay increases every year of the contract, premium-free health insurance that can’t be cut or reduced, retirement improvements and many other benefits,” said Capt. David Bourne, Teamsters Airline Division Director. “The union and its members stand ready to work with NetJets to help ensure a successful company and the highest standards of air safety now and in the future.”
More than 94 percent of the members voted on the proposed contract which goes into effect tomorrow. NetJets will pay signing bonuses of up to $30,000 by the end of the month. NetJets workers are also eligible for employer matching contributions if they direct some or all of their bonus into their 401(k) accounts.
“The new labor agreement was made possible by membership solidarity and the support of unionized NetJets pilots, flight attendants and dispatchers, as well as the hard work and dedication of a long line of Teamsters representatives at every level of our union who pulled out all the stops for these men and women,” said Local 284 President Mark Vandak. “This contract demonstrates what strong unions can accomplish for working people across the United States.”
The new contract runs through December 2023. NetJets has the right to extend the contract for an additional two years if it provides additional wage increases, hires additional aircraft technicians at its Columbus maintenance facility and satisfies other negotiated requirements.
OneSky MCBA becomes effective
In a message to OneSky pilots, Executive Council Chairman John Barclay announced that agreement had finally been reached with management on the Merged Collective Bargaining Agreement (“MCBA”). Captain Barclay wrote:
“We have reached agreement with OneSky management concerning the Merged Collective Bargaining Agreement (“MCBA”). Letters of Agreement between your Union and the Company make the MCBA effective October 10, 2017. Flexjet and Flight Options pilots now have the benefits and protections of a new legally enforceable contract. Negotiations for improvements to that contract will continue pursuant to Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act.
Your Union representatives are happy to report that Pilot compensation will be adjusted to conform to the MCBA retroactive to October 10, 2017 and reimbursements made no later than the January 15, 2018, including but not limited to overtime payments, bonuses, and an additional year of longevity for Flexjet Pilots who upgraded to Captain.”
Silver Airways Update
In their year end message to members the Silver Airways ExCo provided the following update on negotiations:
“The Executive Council wrapped up another session of negotiations with the company last week. This was our final negotiations session for 2017. We have made great progress this year. We currently only have two sections that we have not yet opened (01-Scope and 03-Compensation).
While we cannot predict how long negotiations will take, we have made good progress thus far. The upcoming economic sections are often the most contentious and time consuming, but we are prepared, and with your support, should be able to proceed through them at a good pace.”
TMC Negotiations Update
Mediation for the future Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) resumed on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters office in Washington D.C.
The sessions, which are monitored by National Mediation Board (“NMB”) Mediator Jane Allen, began with CEO Scott Wise giving an update on the state of the Company. Mr. Wise stated that recent meetings with the TMC’s lenders had gone well and management was still looking at lease options on additional aircraft, including the possibility of leasing additional Nextants. VP of Operations Chip Schultz gave a pilot recruiting update. He reported the Company had received 37 applications last week and there were seven new hires in class. However, the Company was still short of reaching management’s goal of 145 pilots by year’s end. Mr. Schultz stated the Company is trying to reduce attrition to “around” 30% annually.
Discussions then turned to the issue raised recently by the Union with management regarding upgrade bids and the Seniority Letter of Agreement (“LOA”) that was signed in January 2017. The Union’s position, as stated in the recent email to all pilots, was that management was not in compliance with the terms and spirit of the LOA, since they were not maintaining an extra Captain in the Hawker fleet and had restricted which pilots were eligible to bid open vacancies, based on their current Position.
Additionally, it was pointed out that the upcoming schedule bid again required Check Airmen and Standards Captains to be in a separate group for bidding next year’s schedule and that it is wrong to penalize pilots who volunteer for these vital leadership roles. The Union stated that a pilot should be able to bid and be awarded schedules according to their overall seniority, just like every other line pilot.
Management stated they would consider the seniority issues, but that schedule bidding would remain the same for Check Airmen and Standards Captains, because “it works” for them.
Union negotiators presented the latest counter-proposals for Sections 16, 18 and 20. Following a discussion on the open paragraphs, agreement was reached on all but one of the open items in Section 7; furlough pay remained unresolved. Management then presented their latest counter-proposal for Section 10—Sick Leave. Although some movement was evident, management held fast to their previous position that only three sick days per year was adequate for TMC pilots; an opinion that union representatives expressed their strong disagreement with.
After a short caucus and a visit from Airline Division Director Captain David Bourne; bargaining resumed. Agreement was reached on furlough pay, which was the last remaining open item in Section 7. This tentatively agreed (“TA’d”) section will become an important part of the future CBA, since it contains industry-standard protections in the event of any down-sizing.
Negotiators then presented management with counter-proposals for Section 10 and Section 29—Retirement Plans, which concluded bargaining for this session.
Before everyone left, Mediator Allen thanked both sides for a productive meeting and reviewed the agenda for next month’s bargaining session, which will be held in Cincinnati OH, January 17th -19th, 2018.
Airline Industry News
American Airlines and its pilots union have reached a pre-holiday tentative settlement agreement on three issues that had long divided them.
The issues include duty rigs involving pilots who have not been getting paid for all the days they are away from home; seniority restoration for pilots who had not been credited for time they were on furlough – this particularly benefits former TWA pilots – and outstanding grievances regarding pilot scheduling.
The settlements require approval from the APA board of directors.
Southwest Airlines announced it will no longer accept smart bags with nonremovable lithium batteries starting Jan. 15. Travelers will be allowed to bring their bags into the cabin with the batteries installed, but must be able to remove the batteries if the bags need to be checked.
Hawaiian Airlines is looking to buy Island Air's operating certificate, ground-service equipment, furniture and frequent-flier lists for $750,000. "If approved, the sale will allow 'Ohana by Hawaiian to assume oversight of operations. Those operations would include the hiring of pilots, flights attendants, and customer service and maintenance crews," said Hawaiian Airlines spokesman Alex Da Silva. "We believe that assuming the FAA certificate will greatly benefit our guests by improving the efficiency and reliability of 'Ohana by Hawaiian."
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said sweeping corporate tax cuts will allow the company to invest in more planes and expand its service. The tax reduction "takes us to a position where we can think about growing faster, and of modernizing our fleet faster," he said.
Continued strong air freight demand and the resulting lack of capacity has been exacerbated by severe weather across Europe.
Air freight forwarders have accused some airlines of exploiting the spot market by cancelling scheduled flights and not providing sufficient capacity.
As we gather with friends and family to celebrate the holiday season, we are thankful not just for the opportunity to be together, we are also grateful and thankful for those who during the holiday season are on the job. From the brothers and sisters keeping our aircraft safe and well maintained, to those who are in faraway places around the world, professionally and safely flying the skies; we of the Airline Division send you our warmest thoughts and best wishes. May we all keep them and their families in our thoughts as well, in anticipation of their safe return home to their loved ones as well.
On behalf of the Airline Division, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas. In commemoration of the Christmas holiday, the offices of the Airline Division will be CLOSED on Monday the 25th and Tuesday the 26th. We will reopen for regular business on Wednesday, December 27th.