Today, Republic Airways [NASDAQ: RJET] pilots and their families rallied outside the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Indianapolis.
The pilots, members of Teamsters Local 357, are calling on shareholders to pressure Republic CEO Bryan Bedford to quickly reach an agreement that includes fair pay and benefits and reflects changes that have occurred in the airline industry since the last contract was signed in 2003. The pilots’ contract with Republic Airways Holdings has been amendable since 2007. There are more than 2,200 Teamster pilots at Republic.
The outdated agreement is affecting Republic’s ability to retain and hire pilots, leading to an increase in cancelled flights, and resulting in lost wages for pilots and lost revenue for the company. More than 1,600 flights operated by the airline were cancelled in May. Bedford has asked major airline partners to reduce their schedules during the peak summer travel season due to staffing issues.
“You can’t run an airline without pilots. We hope shareholders will encourage the CEO to agree to a new contract that treats us as professionals and not a commodity,” said James B. Clark II, Executive Board President of Local 357.
Republic’s first quarter net income was down more than 50 percent from the prior year. Company shares have fallen nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the year.
Republic Airways Holdings owns and operates regional flights for American, United, Delta and US Airways under the Republic Airlines and Shuttle America brands.
Approximately half of the nation’s domestic flights are outsourced to regional airlines rather than flown by a larger carrier.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.