(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – NetJets aircraft technicians and related employees represented by the Teamsters Airline Division and Teamsters Local 284 have launched a multi-location informational picketing campaign to publicize their dispute over the company’s refusal to pay industry standard wages and massive levels of subcontracting of aircraft maintenance. Informational picketing began today at Don Scott Airport at Ohio State University in Columbus.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Airline Division and Local 284 represent aircraft mechanics, maintenance control, aircraft fuelers, aircraft cleaners and stock clerks. The Columbus-based business jet operator is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A and BRK.B).
NetJets Aviation, Inc. and NetJets Sales, Inc. only employ 111 aircraft mechanics to work on its fleet of approximately 400 aircraft. By comparison, major airlines often employ up to 10 mechanics for every one aircraft. Workers accuse NetJets of trying to drive away qualified mechanics and support workers in favor of subcontracting critical repair work on NetJets aircraft despite customer expectations and workers’ job security.
“With the shortage of qualified aircraft mechanics likely to get much worse, NetJets needs to get ahead of the curve rather than short-staffing in favor of subcontractors,” said Chris Moore, Chairman of the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition. “Unfortunately, NetJets management refuses to pay the type of wages it takes to attract and retain highly skilled aircraft technicians. Unless something changes quickly, we see even more problems at NetJets in the future and a very difficult recovery.”
“Buffett has spoken publicly about the worsening income gap in American society. However, NetJets is contributing to the problem that Buffett criticizes,” said Mark Vandak, President of Teamsters Local 284. “For example, Berkshire Hathaway Energy Chairman and CEO Greg Abel received $17.5 million in compensation in 2016. That translates into more than $8,400 per hour. At the same time, NetJets refuses to pay workers who clean Berkshire Hathaway private jets $15 per hour, the minimum wage in some cities. No matter how you cut it, that’s bad for working families and our society.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.teamster.org.