A group of more than 2,200 pilots working for Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: RJET) has rejected a proposed labor agreement. Union leadership previously agreed to a tentative, four-year deal in February. April 4, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Republic Airways Holdings (NASDAQ: RJET) announced today that members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 357 failed to ratify a proposed four-year pilot labor agreement.
IBT Local 357 represents more than 2,200 pilots for Republic's sister companies Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
“We are extremely disappointed that the union's membership failed to ratify the tentative agreement that was reached in mid-February. At a time when other regional airlines have been negotiating concessionary agreements for their pilots, we were able to reach an industry-leading contract that significantly improved pay and work rules for our pilots to vote upon,” said Republic Airways Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Heller. “Despite the outcome of this vote, Republic remains committed to providing the safest, most reliable flight service for our legacy airline partners.”
The proposed contract included increases in pay that would have placed Republic pilots at or near the top of its regional airline peers. It also included improvements in quality of life enhancements and more flexibility in scheduling, as well as a significant signing bonus if it had been ratified.
Republic Airways Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Bedford said, “I am disappointed with the results of today's IBT Pilot vote as I believe that the Tentative Agreement we reached with the IBT was in the best interest of our Pilots and an important step forward for our Company. We will work with the IBT to determine our next steps.”
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, collectively “the airlines.” The airlines operate a combined fleet of about 250 aircraft and offer scheduled passenger service on over 1,350 flights daily to about 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas through fixed-fee flights operated under our major airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ about 6,300 aviation professionals. For more information on Republic Airways, visit the Company's website at www.rjet.com.
Source: Republic Airways Holdings Inc.
April 4, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Pilots for Republic Airways Holdings overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement, becoming the latest regional airline pilot group to refuse a contract.
Results of the vote, conducted by the IBT's Airline Division and Ballotpoint, were announced live in a conference call earlier today. Results were: 289 For (15 percent) / 1643 Against (85 percent), with 89.5 percent of the pilot group participating in the vote.
“Our pilot group has spoken and rejected the tentative agreement (TA) as inadequate,” said IBT Local 357 President Craig A. Moffatt. “The Local Union will now move promptly to identify clearly the pilots' priorities that resulted in rejection of the tentative agreement and towards developing a comprehensive plan for obtaining an agreement that the pilots will ratify.”
This rejection of a new contract by Republic Airways pilots comes after pilots at American Eagle rejected a new contract and after recent media reports touting the low pay and poor working conditions of regional airline pilots. Regional carriers are a key link in the nation's air-transportation system. Approximately half of the nation's domestic flights are outsourced to regional airlines rather than flown by a larger carrier.
“In rejecting the TA, the pilot group has stated clearly its demand that Republic must do better in establishing acceptable terms for a new agreement. The Company cannot ignore the pilots' demands without risking the continued deterioration of its operation which drove it back to the bargaining table last year.” said Moffatt.
The current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or contract was ratified in 2003 and became amendable in October of 2007. Pilots are covered by the Railway Labor Act, so the contract does not expire. Negotiations began in April 2007 and entered mediation in 2011. Local 357 pilots have been without a contractual raise or an adjustment of work rules to reflect industry and economic changes for over six years – and counting.
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings owns and operates three regional carriers–Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America Airlines which, in turn, fly for American, United, Delta and US Airways.
Source: IBT Local 357