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Airline Division News, Week Ending February 28, 2016

Union Sends Section 6 Notice to Flexjet, Flight Options

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division has sent a Section 6 Notice to OneSky, LLC parent company of fractional share airlines Flight Options and Flexjet on behalf of the pilots represented by the union at those air carriers.

Under the Railway Labor Act, the filing of notice on February 24th signals the Teamsters’ intent to commence negotiations to unify all the pilots of both air carriers under a single collective bargaining agreement.

The Teamsters also announced that pilot committees from each of the two combining carriers had agreed to a fair and equitable seniority integration plan.

“Our members at Flight Options and Flexjet have helped to spur their respective companies to record growth and profits, but have received little of the reward of their hard work and sacrifice,” said Efrem Vojta, President of Teamsters Local 1108 in Richmond Heights, Ohio.

“Flexjet management has fought tooth and nail against its pilots’ efforts to choose a union because it feared the bargaining strength of both pilot groups combined. Now is the time to use that strength to get an industry-leading contract at this major player in the factional private luxury air transportation market,” Vojta added.

OneSky, LLC, the parent company, purchased Flight Options in 2007 and Flexjet in 2013. In 2015, the National Mediation Board determined that the two formerly separate carriers constituted a single carrier for the purpose of collective bargaining, triggering the combination of their workforces. In December 2015, pilots from Flexjet and Flight Options voted jointly to be represented by the Teamsters, which had previously represented only the Flight Options pilots.

“We are pleased that the Flexjet and Flight Options pilots will be able to sit at the same bargaining table to negotiate as a single cohesive unit,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “We are also proud that our pilot committees have been able to reach an amicable and fair agreement on the issue of seniority integration. We look forward to productive negotiations with the combined carrier to bring the pilots’ pay, benefits, and work rules up to the top of the fractional industry.”

UAL Mechanics picket nationwide, send a clear message with 93% NO vote

Friday, in a continuing and powerful display of solidarity at airports across the country, United Mechanics protested and passed out information to passengers in front of United’s ticket counters.  The message reflected in their 93% NO vote is clear; the substandard proposal that management put on the table as their last offer is an insult to their craft, and is completely inadequate.  In a message to United mechanics, Airline Division Director David Bourne said, “We will not rest until an industry leading agreement is in place for United’s Mechanics.  The time is NOW for this company to deliver on the many promises they have made to make us industry leaders in every aspect of our collective bargaining agreement.”

Friday afternoon, Airline Division Director Bourne directed IBT attorney Nick Manicone to hand deliver a request for release from mediation to the NMB.  “The company made it clear in November that they would negotiate no further and refused counter proposals from the negotiating committee.  This is the very definition of an impasse, and we demand that the National Mediation Board exercise its legal responsibility and release us,” Bourne continued in his message.

On Tuesday, March 8th United mechanics and the teamsters will take the message directly to investors of United Airlines at the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Industrials Conference in New York City.  The conference brings together over 500 corporate leaders, financial sponsors, and institutional investors from over 70 companies.  United Airlines mechanics intend to welcome them with an information picket beginning at 7:00am to make one thing crystal clear; that a strike at United is imminent unless they change their ways.

All Teamsters are welcomed to join the picket.

TAMC succeeds in adding critical MRO language to FAA Reauthorization

The Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition (TAMC) has continued to lead the fight for uniform regulation of all MRO facilities in the U.S. and internationally, consistent with the rules imposed on facilities staffed by members of the TAMC. Their diligence shows as they were a key force in making sure that the proposed Aviation Innovation, Reform & Reauthorization (AIRR) Act repeats a call in the current FAA reauthorization bill to mandate drug and alcohol testing at all repair stations, consistent with local laws. This version would give the FAA deadlines to write a draft rule within 90 days and a final rule within one year. The legislation also calls for pre-employment background checks and proposes more targeted surveillance of foreign repair stations that perform heavy maintenance on U.S.-registered aircraft.

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

House Republicans have pulled the plug on a controversial plan to separate the nation’s air traffic control system from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is criticizing an effort from House Republicans to prohibit states from requiring truck drivers to receive paid meal and rest breaks in an aviation funding bill that is being considered by lawmakers in the House. Boxer said Thursday the inclusion of the trucking provision in the Federal Aviation Administration measure approved by the House Transportation Committee is a "poison pill" that will ground the aviation funding bill when it arrives in the Senate. 

The Department of Transportation will determine which US carriers can fly commercially to Cuba after an historic agreement was reached between the two countries. Airlines are required to submit applications by March 2, and at least six airlines have said they plan to apply.

Airlines, Industry and Labor

The first Boeing 727, now restored, took its final flight last week. The former United Airlines aircraft, which embarked on its debut flight in 1963, will be on display at the Museum of Flight. "When Boeing came out with this airplane, it was a big leap forward," said Bob Bogash, a former engineer for Boeing.

There could hardly have been a more unequivocal denial that DHL is looking to quit freight forwarding, than in Deutsche Post-DHL chief executive Frank Appel’s keynote speech on the first day of this year’s Transpacific Maritime conference in Long Beach, California.