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Airline Division News, Week Ending May 13, 2017

NetJets Teamsters Picket Multiple Locations 

NetJets aircraft technicians and related employees represented by the Teamsters Airline Division and Teamsters Local 284 have launched a multi-location informational picketing campaign to publicize their dispute over the company’s refusal to pay industry standard wages and massive levels of subcontracting of aircraft maintenance. Informational picketing began on Friday at Don Scott Airport at Ohio State University in Columbus. 

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Airline Division and Local 284 represent aircraft mechanics, maintenance control, aircraft fuelers, aircraft cleaners and stock clerks. The Columbus-based business jet operator is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. 

NetJets Aviation, Inc. and NetJets Sales, Inc. only employ 111 aircraft mechanics to work on its fleet of approximately 400 aircraft. By comparison, major airlines often employ up to 10 mechanics for every one aircraft. Workers accuse NetJets of trying to drive away qualified mechanics and support workers in favor of subcontracting critical repair work on NetJets aircraft despite customer expectations and workers’ job security.  

“With the shortage of qualified aircraft mechanics likely to get much worse, NetJets needs to get ahead of the curve rather than short-staffing in favor of subcontractors,” said Chris Moore, Chairman of the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition. “Unfortunately, NetJets management refuses to pay the type of wages it takes to attract and retain highly skilled aircraft technicians. Unless something changes quickly, we see even more problems at NetJets in the future and a very difficult recovery.” 

“Buffett has spoken publicly about the worsening income gap in American society. However, NetJets is contributing to the problem that Buffett criticizes,” said Mark Vandak, President of Teamsters Local 284. “For example, Berkshire Hathaway Energy Chairman and CEO Greg Abel received $17.5 million in compensation in 2016. That translates into more than $8,400 per hour. At the same time, NetJets refuses to pay workers who clean Berkshire Hathaway private jets $15 per hour, the minimum wage in some cities. No matter how you cut it, that’s bad for working families and our society.” 

ERAU to host Advanced Go-Team Training

Teamsters Local 1224 has announced that their Advanced Go-Team Training course to be held June 6-8, 2017 on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (E-RAU) in Prescott, Arizona. This training will give students who have already attended Basic Go-Team Training a chance to participate in a hands-on exercise that will teach them how to apply classroom knowledge to actual on-scene crash sites at E-RAU’s Robertson Aviation Accident Investigation Laboratory.  

Students will learn from a variety of university staff, including Greg Feith, former NTSB Investigator, and Local 1224 Basic Course Instructor/Consultant. Local 1224 students will also interact with E-RAU undergrad, and graduate students who will be participating in the exercise.  

This year’s course has been extended to three days and will include, for the first time, a real-time CIRP exercise to run in conjunction with the course.  

Prerequisite for this course is successful completion of the Basic Course. Any seats not filled by a Local 1224 member will be offered to other Locals in the Airline Division, CAPA, and other airline unions at a cost of $675/student (not including displacement costs, travel, meals, and lodging). 

Each Local 1224 carrier will have two slots for this training opportunity. Executive Council Chairs should coordinate with their Safety Chairs to determine who will occupy the two slots available and ensure that they register for the training via the union’s website. For Local 1224 members, request approval and register via the union’s website:

For non Local 1224 members, please contact Jenna Sheeley at 937.382.0201 ext. 5510 or email: , for a non member registration form. 

Local 1224 has arranged for a block of rooms at the Springhill Suites Marriott at a rate of $109/ night. Check-in is at 1500 on June 5, check-out is at 1200 on June 9. Please make your hotel reservation no later than May 19 using the following link:

For travel, hotel and other questions, please contact Jenna Sheely, Local 1224 Office Manager (phone: 937.382.0201 ext. 5510) or via email:

For Training Questions, please contact Russ Leighton, Local 1224 Safety Coordinator (phone: 937.382.0201 ext. 2523) or via email:

Airline Industry News 

Governmental and Regulatory

The Airforwarders Association (AfA) in the US has called on the Senate to swiftly confirm Kevin McAleenan as Customs and Border Protection (CBP commissioner, pointing out that the appointment was critical to the safe, secure and efficient movement of cargo.

Airlines, Industry and Labor

Boeing has suspended 737 MAX flights after being informed by CFM International of a potential issue with the aircraft’s LEAP-1B engine, although Boeing says MAX 8 deliveries will begin this month as planned. 

UPS and FedEx have received contracts worth $2.35 billion each from the Department of Defense to provide delivery services. 

Noise fines imposed on carriers by the Brussels Capital Region are beginning to drive all-cargo airlines away, complains Brussels Airport. 

UPS will add large-screen cockpit displays to 26 Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft, matching the display style of the 787. The upgrade will do away with old cathode ray tubes. 

Heavylift carrier Antonov Airlines is to establish a presence in the US and Hong Kong as part of its expansion plans. 

David Abney, CEO of UPS, says the company is focusing on growth opportunities abroad, especially in emerging markets. He cites the population growth and growing middle class in these regions.