Press Releases

NetJets to the Middle Class: Subsidize the Global Super-Rich


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK/B) NetJets, Inc. is demanding compensation and benefit cuts from more than 600 employees represented by the Teamsters Union as part of a plan to lower prices for its wealthy customers. The Columbus, Ohio-based business jet operator is owned by Warren Buffet’s holding company and provides business and leisure travel to the global super-rich.

“The middle class employees I represent will not agree to take pay or benefit cuts so a Wall Street banker can take a cheaper vacation on his private Gulfstream jet,” said Paul Suffoletto, President of Teamsters Local 284. The union represents NetJets flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, maintenance controllers, aircraft cleaners, aircraft fuelers, stock clerks and flight dispatchers.

A NetJets website states a “core negotiation requirement” is “to pass as much of the savings [from employee concessions] as practicable to owners and potential owners…” NetJets refers to its wealthy customers as “owners.” 

NetJets’ decision to publicize its scheme to pass on savings from employee compensation and benefit cuts to the global super-rich is nothing more than an example of senior management’s extreme arrogance and demonstrates they are completely out touch with ordinary Americans.

“NetJets customers are the global one-tenth of one percent,” Suffoletto said.  “If management believes we are going to let them take money from the pay check of a middle class employee and use it to subsidize millionaires and multinational corporations, they are in for the fight of their lives.”

Contract negotiations on behalf of flight attendants have been underway for nearly four years. The federal government recently appointed a mediator. As a result of NetJets’ bargaining demands, little progress has been made in negotiations covering other unionized employees, including those who perform safety-sensitive functions for the company, such as aircraft maintenance and flight dispatching. 

In September, NetJets announced that the government of China granted it permission to offer flight services to China’s business, military and ruling party elites.  When asked on Fox’s ‘First on Business’ about the relationship between NetJets and Chinese officials, NetJets CEO Jordan Hansel said, “They’ve been great for us.” 

“If NetJets needs money for foreign expansion, it should ask its good friends in the government of the People’s Republic of China for a subsidy rather than demanding employees give up pay and benefits,” Suffoletto said.  

“NetJets’ customers are some of the largest corporations and wealthiest people on the planet,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “We think the public will be very interested in what is happening at NetJets when we start to attach names and faces to some of the customers that stand to receive a subsidy for luxury travel at the expense of middle class Americans.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico including more than 80,000 workers in in every craft and class of the airline industry. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at