(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – The Teamsters Airline Division and Local 284 criticized NetJets today for continuing to subcontract critical aircraft maintenance to vendors and subcontractors as part of a scheme to save money, rather than using its own workers.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Airline Division and Local 284 represent mechanics, maintenance control, aircraft fuelers, aircraft cleaners and stock clerks at the Columbus, Ohio based airline. The Columbus-based business jet operator is owned by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A and BRK.B).
“NetJets subcontracts maintenance work on a massive scale,” said Chris Moore, Chairman of the Aviation Mechanics Coalition. “NetJets Aviation, Inc. and NetJets Sales, Inc. employ a mere 111 mechanics to perform maintenance work on its fleet of approximately 400 aircraft. By comparison, a major airline employs over 7,000 mechanics to service its fleet of approximately 700 aircraft.”
NetJets recently announced that sister company, Executive Jet Management, intends to phase out maintenance operations in White Plains, N.Y. and Cincinnati, Ohio. The company refuses to commit that its own aircraft technicians rather than a lower cost vendor will perform maintenance work on NetJets aircraft at those locations. Because of this announcement, the union fears even more outsourcing of safety-sensitive maintenance work.
“NetJets customers pay a premium for the highest level of safety and security,” said Paul Suffoletto, President of Local 284. “According to published reports, outsourcing airline maintenance to achieve cost-savings leads to weaker oversight. The mechanics and maintenance support workers that I represent are highly skilled and fully capable of doing the critical maintenance work that management continues to outsource. We believe that’s in the best interests of customers and the business.”
“This airline has no excuse for outsourcing these critical maintenance operations,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “Teamster mechanics are some of the most accomplished airline mechanics in the industry. Our members do the job and they do the job right.”
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.