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Teamsters File For Mediation at Flexjet, Flight Options

Pilots Seek Out National Mediation Board to Achieve A Fair Contract

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airline Division, has filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB) following six months of negotiations with management over a new collective bargaining agreement for Flexjet and Flight Options pilots.

Flexjet and Flight Options are luxury business jet carriers that serve wealthy individuals and large corporations and operate under the umbrella of aviation parent company One Sky Flight, LLC.

The combined Flexjet and Flight Options pilot groups are working under a single labor contract that was awarded by an arbitrator on October 10, 2017 to address the merger of the two carriers. The parties are currently negotiating over changes to that interim contract. The union is seeking pay increases, benefit improvements and more favorable work rules for pilots.

"In order for Flexjet and Flight Options to retain and recruit high-quality pilots in a tight labor market, we need a collective bargaining agreement that recognizes and rewards the hard work and dedication of our flight crews," said Capt. Efrem Vojta, President of Teamsters Local 1108. "We filed for mediation because we believe the involvement of the National Mediation Board will help us reach an agreement that works for the benefit of pilots, the carrier and customers."

In March, union negotiators proposed a framework for reaching a new labor agreement within nine months. That proposal included non-adversarial bargaining and a joint effort to identify industry-leading pay, benefits and scheduling provisions at other carriers for possible inclusion in a new contract. Management rejected the union's proposal.

"The Airline Division and Local 1108 want to secure a strong contract for our members to vote on without any delays or distractions," said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. "By filing for mediation, we are once again demonstrating our commitment to the One Sky pilots—many of whom have other employment options due to the pilot shortage—as well as to the success of the carrier, which needs an industry-leading labor agreement in order to attract the pilots it will take to dominate the unique market it serves."

The National Mediation Board is the federal agency that administers the Railway Labor Act, the law governing labor relations in the airline and rail industries. A mediator will be appointed to assist the parties after agency personnel docket and review the union's application. According the agency's website, 97 percent of all mediation cases in the history of the NMB have been successfully resolved without interruptions to public service. Since 1980, the success rate has been nearly 99 percent.

The Teamsters won the right to represent the combined Flexjet and Flight Options pilot group in a National Mediation Board union election in December 2015.

(Source: Teamsters news release)



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