(PLAINFIELD, Ind.) – Today, Teamsters Local 357 in Plainfield, Ind., filed a lawsuit against Republic Airways [NASDAQ: RJET] for unilaterally changing pilots’ working conditions regarding “open time” flying without first agreeing with the union about those changes. More than 2,200 Republic pilots are members of Local 357 and have been seeking a fair contract from the company since 2007.
The lawsuit asserts that the company’s changes are unlawful alterations in the status quo and that they took place even while the items changed were the subject of ongoing bargaining between Local 357 and Republic. The purpose of the lawsuit is to compel Republic’s compliance with its lawful duties under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the federal law which governs labor relations in the airline industry.
To uphold the principle that Republic can only make changes to the pilots’ agreement through the bargaining process, Local 357 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis (case number: 1:15-cv-01066-WTL-MJD) seeking injunctive relief, declaratory judgment and other appropriate relief against the company’s unlawful changes in the status quo of pilot contractual rates of pay, rules and working conditions.
“Republic has had eight years to come to an agreement. The pilots are seeking a fair contract that spells out pay, benefits and working conditions, so that the company can’t give something and take it back at their whim. That’s what these hardworking, skilled pilots deserve now—plain and simple,” said Jim Clark, President of Local 357.
Pending the outcome of this lawsuit, the pilots will maintain their normal practice with regard to flying.
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 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.