NetJets Slammed By Teamsters Union In Contract Fight

NetJets Slammed By Teamsters Union In Contract Fight
By Mark Hirschey (Work of Mark Hirschey) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Teamsters Local 284 in Columbus, Ohio is duking it out with fractional aircraft ownership company Netjets in a compensation and benefits contract dispute. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) is the owner of NetJets.

The two sides have been embroiled in a bitter contract dispute for some months now, with NetJets continuing to demand significant compensation and benefit cuts from more than 600 Teamsters Union workers in order to lower prices for its wealthy customers.

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The union claims that contract negotiations have stalled because of management’s demands that union workers take pay cuts and chip in more for their health insurance. They say this shakedown of employees is particularly appalling given NetJets management has recently boasted about  increasing revenues, record profits and expansion in China.

All of the flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, maintenance controllers, aircraft cleaners, aircraft fuelers, stock clerks and flight dispatchers employed by NetJets are members of Teamsters Local 284.

NetJets is taking from middle-class employees to give to rich owners

A December 2nd press release from the Teamsters Union highlights that NetJets’ own website states that a “core negotiation requirement” is “to pass as much of the savings [from employee concessions] as practicable to Owners and potential Owners…” The firm’s wealthy customers are fractional “owners” of the jets they fly in.

“By admitting that it plans to pass on the savings from employee benefit and compensation cuts to the rich and famous, NetJets has shown itself to be completely out of touch with the struggles faced every day by hardworking Americans,” noted Paul Suffoletto, President of Teamsters Local 284 in Columbus, Ohio.

Of note, NetJets has not given raises or issued profit sharing checks to the professional flight dispatchers who are responsible for critical functions related to flight safety for four years now. Moreover, NetJets managers are being issued profit sharing checks for themselves, and even worse, are making dispatchers and their family members pay an increasingly larger share of their health insurance premiums.

Statement from Teamsters director

“Even in this era of inequality and unrestrained corporate power, NetJets’ behavior is corporate greed and arrogance on a scale rarely seen,” noted Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “We are going to resist this attempt to transfer money from the paychecks of our members to the wealthiest people on the planet, no matter what it takes.”

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