Interesting press release – we will see how Buffett deals with this – I am guessing it will not escalate like Coke, and Buffett will step in, but who knows?!
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B)’s NetJets, Inc. is threatening to fire workers over the International Brotherhood of Teamsters decision to publicize the names of wealthy customers who stand to benefit from the company’s attack on the wages, benefits and working conditions of middle class employees. The Columbus, Ohio-based fractional ownership jet operator is owned by Warren Buffett’s holding company and provides business and leisure travel to the global super-rich.
NetJets’ threat and example of this out-of-control multi-national corporation
“NetJets’ threat to terminate middle class workers is just the latest example of this out-of-control, multi-national corporation trying to coerce and intimidate its workforce into subsidizing the global super-rich,” said Paul Suffoletto, President of Teamsters Local 284. “The employees we represent will not give up one penny so a Wall Street banker or CEO can take a cheaper vacation on a private Gulfstream jet.”
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The Teamsters Union represents approximately 600 NetJets employees who work as flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, maintenance controllers, aircraft cleaners, aircraft fuelers, stock clerks and flight dispatchers, all of whom are currently in labor contract negotiations. Despite profitability and rising revenues, NetJets is demanding compensation, benefits and job security concessions from unionized workers.
NetJets’ core negotiation requirement
A NetJets website states a “core negotiation requirement” is “to pass as much of the savings [from employee concessions] as practicable to owners and potential owners…” NetJets refers to its wealthy customers as “owners.”
“We think the public will be very interested in what is happening at NetJets when we start to attach names and faces to some of the customers that stand to receive a subsidy for luxury travel at the expense of middle class Americans,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division in an Oct. 27, 2014 press release.
Since that time, the company has threatened to fire workers for assisting their union in its effort to publicize the identity of the wealthy individuals and multinational corporations who would benefit from NetJets’ subsidy scheme.
“NetJets’ decision to threaten our hard-working members is a disgrace,” Bourne said. “We are going to defend these middle class workers, no matter what it takes and we aren’t backing down from our decision to publicly identify the wealthy customers who stand to benefit from this attack.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico including more than 80,000 workers in in every craft and class of the airline industry. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
SOURCE Teamsters Local 284