The union representing some 760 Flight Options pilots is charging that the Raytheon-owned fractional share company is engaging in a pattern of harassing and hostile behavior as both sides continue negotiations toward an initial contract. Under terms of the National Labor Relations Act those talks can continue through August 2007 before a strike could be called.
Bombardier executives continue to mull over new information gleaned last Thursday during a “fact finding” meeting with negotiators for workers on strike since October 2 from the company’s Learjet plant in Wichita.
A company spokesman here in Orlando said Bombardier collected “a lot of information we weren’t aware of” but that he declined to identify. He characterized the meeting as positive and professional, however.
U.S. bankruptcy court judge Gregory Kishel again gave Mesaba Airlines permission to impose contract terms on its pilots, flight attendants and mechanics after an appeals court judge overturned Kishel’s first ruling to allow management to force concessions. Days later, Kishel agreed to enforce an injunction sought by Mesaba that effectively bars the employees from striking.
Comair reached concessionary labor agreements with its mechanics and flight attendants late last month, but at press time a deal with its pilots continued to elude the Cincinnati-based regional, a major portion of whose route network stands subject to outsourcing by Delta Air Lines to independent carriers.
The union representing the pilots of SkyWest Airlines regional airline subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines on October 13 began picketing the long-time union-free parent company at its St. George, Utah headquarters. At press time, the sides remained far apart on demands for what the union calls a “moderate” wage increase and work rule improvements.
UK aircraft maker Britten-Norman has reached a pay settlement with members of the Amicus trade union. In a deal struck on October 9, the Isle of Wight-based manufacturer reached an agreement with its workforce on pay and other issues, ending a strike that had begun three days earlier. Company and union officials had started to negotiate new terms in January. Britten-Norman makes the Islander line of piston- and turbine-powered aircraft.
Bombardier Aerospace announced last month it will lay off another 1,330 employees as part of a plan to “realign” regional aircraft production rates with market demand. The adjustments will see production of the CRJ700 and CRJ900 cut from 65 to 50 next year and Q Series turboprop output increase from 50 to 65 as a result of a significant rise in Q400 deliveries.
After the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) voided the late October MEC elections due to balloting concerns, the NetJets pilots finally were scheduled to vote in new union leaders on December 22 (results are posted on www.ain-online.com). The pilot group has been without peer representation since November 1, when the terms of the former MEC members expired.
Hoping to stave off a shortage in air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA will hire 12,500 controllers over the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified more quickly. More than 11,000 controllers are expected to leave the agency between now and 2014.
The House Education and Workforce Committee endorsed a proposal calling for the Labor Department to establish a government program for aerospace workforce job training.