Sat, Mar 31, 2012
Carriers Claim Union Makes False Statements About Working Conditions
The three airlines flying under the Republic Airways Holdings Inc. banner have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis seeking to force the Teamsters Union to take down a website the airlines say makes false statements about their operations.
The carriers; Chautauqua Airlines Inc., Republican Airline Inc., and Shuttle America, say the website is designed to scare pilots away from applying for jobs with the regionals. They have asked the court for a permanent injunction against Teamsters Local 357, forcing the union to take the website down. They are also seeking monetary damages.
The holding company and the union have been in contract negotiations since 2007, and the pilots contend they have not had a raise in over four years working without a contract. They are seeking seniority guarantees and better scheduling.
Republic Airways Holdings says that it is facing a pilot shortage, and is recruiting in a very competitive environment. They say several pilots have taken themselves out of consideration simply by not calling back for interviews, or dropping out of the application process. The company says part of the reason is the false claims made on the Teamsters website.
The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Republic says the inaccuracies on the website include statements that, in the event of a strike, probationary pilots would be fired. The carriers also say the union is using coercion tactics with prospective pilots, saying that their participation in the hiring process undermines the union's goals. The airlines also accuse the union of violating both state and federal labor laws, and say that the website is a breach of contract and defamation against the companies.
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