INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pilots for Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings (NASDAQ: RJET) have taken their frustration over lingering contract negotiations to the ballot box.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local No 357 Executive Board has authorized a vote of "No Confidence" in Wayne Heller, COO of Republic Airways and his senior management team. Heller and his team have represented the company during the contract negotiations.
Pilots for Chautauqua, Shuttle America, and Republic Airlines will be able to cast electronic votes beginning at noon ET, September 30 through noon ET, October 7. Results will be announced on the Local's website and by Twitter (www.local357.org | @IBTLocal357) as soon as possible.
"Pilots have asked for an opportunity to show their displeasure in the bargaining process, the company's "Last Best and Final Offer", and how Republic Airways Holdings operationally treats their pilots," said Local 357 Executive Board President Craig A. Moffatt. "Now is their opportunity."
Union leaders cite the following failures in Heller's leadership as reasons for the vote:
- Refusal to bargain in good faith at the negotiating table. Heller unilaterally changed a "final offer" in face of overwhelming pilot disapproval without first presenting it to the Union at the bargaining table. Heller and his team have refused to bargain since March 2013 despite new proposals presented by the Union.
- Heller misrepresented the company's financial industry positions (contrary to corporate SEC and DOT filings) to the National Mediation Board. Unfortunately, company representatives can face criminal charges for misrepresenting data to the SEC or DOT, but not for misrepresenting data to the pilots.
- Heller and his team have failed to support current pilots and recruit additional pilots to staff the company's growing operation and logistics. The union claims this has led to an unprecedented increase in pilot fatigue. In addition, Heller has not appropriated the required resources to maintain operational reliability in the Q400 operation, jeopardizing the company's contract with United Airlines. RJET management has not planned appropriately for new FAA regulations affecting rest requirements which will result in a much higher burden on the pilots.
- The Union also alleges that the company has attempted to prevent the hiring of RAH pilots at other airlines in order to reduce attrition.
- Heller has allowed "corporate mismanagement" of FAA Safety Programs.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local No. 357 represents the pilots at Chautauqua, Republic Airlines, and Shuttle America who operate on behalf of American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, United, and US Airways. Pilots have been trying to reach a deal on a new contract since 2007 and have been in federal mediation since 2011.
SOURCE Teamsters Local Union No. 357