Workers Seek to Inform Flying Public of Mechanic Shortage
Kara DenizEmail: [email protected] Phone: (202) 624-6877
(WASHINGTON) – Mechanics at ExpressJet, a regional carrier for United Airlines, recently wrapped up a week of informational picketing at the company’s locations in Cleveland; Houston; Newark, New Jersey; Chicago and Alcoa, Tennessee. The picket was geared towards informing the flying public of ongoing negotiations with the company.
“ExpressJet customers have a right to know that the company is likely going to have issues as a result of its irrational behavior at the bargaining table,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “ExpressJet’s refusal to pay their mechanics the wages and benefits they deserve is causing more and more of them to quit every single day, often to take higher-paying jobs at other commercial airlines.”
Mechanics at ExpressJet, a company in which United Airlines owns a 49 percent stake, agreed to pay cuts in 2008 to help prevent the company from filing for bankruptcy. The company restored wages to their 2008 levels in 2017, but the workers haven’t had a real pay raise in over a decade. After the company proposed a regressive offer in June, the Teamsters asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to intervene. All of this is happening at a time when there is an industry-wide shortage of aviation mechanics that is only getting worse.
“The company is trying to take their retirement and use that to fund a paltry wage increase that leaves them thousands of dollars behind their peers in the regional industry,” said Chris Moore, Teamsters Airline Division International Representative. “We don’t have any additional meetings scheduled with the company, so many of these workers are finding it hard to stay even if they’ve been loyal to ExpressJet for years.”
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.