Flexjet pilots votes to decertify Teamsters
Cleveland – May 31, 2018 – Flexjet, a leading provider of fractional jet ownership, congratulated its pilots on successfully decertifying the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 1108, which previously represented the pilots. This move will give Flexjet’s pilots a direct relationship with the Company, and it will provide Flexjet with a huge competitive advantage in the fractional jet ownership market, enabling it to introduce innovations in service, pilot compensation and other matters without interference from a third party.
The successful vote by the pilots in support of decertification comes a little more than two years after the pilots very narrowly approved representation by the IBT Local 1108. Since then, many pilots have complained that the Teamsters have over-promised and under-delivered. The move to decertify the union’s representation began as a grassroots effort among the pilots in response to these complaints.
“This is a historic moment not only for our company but also for the industry as a whole, since no other pilot group has elected to remove representation by organized labor,” said Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci. “While this underscores the dissatisfaction our pilots felt with the union, it is more importantly a testament to the trust our pilots have in this Company and our leadership team, and a rejection of the tactics of fear and intimidation that the Teamsters used during this vote.”
The 28-day voting period was a public battle to win the trust of the pilots, and the Teamsters recruited unions across the country to try to intimidate Flexjet pilots into keeping the union. Flexjet chose to exercise its legal right to publicly support the decertification effort.
Throughout the election period, the Teamsters conducted a mudslinging campaign against Flexjet, spreading rumours that it would make detrimental changes to its pilot force after the voting concluded. In reality, Flexjet made immediate improvements to its compensation programs that become effective June 1. Flexjet is also poised to hire more than 100 pilots to meet an aggressive aircraft delivery schedule including adding to its rapidly growing large-cabin and long-range fleet with two Bombardier Global Express aircraft and an additional Gulfstream G650. 2018 will also bring deliveries of several Bombardier Challenger 350s and Embraer Legacy 450s in the popular super-midsized and midsized categories.
The decertification vote will free Flexjet to improve compensation and benefits without obstruction from an adversarial third party, which will contribute to retaining its existing pilots. In addition, Flexjet can now be more flexible in offering attractive and competitive packages to lure new pilots. In the past, the union has opposed efforts to improve compensation unless it received credit for doing so.
Red Label’s popularity among Owners and pilots alike created a bond between Flexjet and its pilots that led to the pilots’ demand for change. In addition to offering customers the best aircraft in the industry, Red Label gives pilots the ability to participate in industry-first dedicated crewing and enables them to take part in determining their own schedules. These Red Label pilots are the highest paid in the industry and the decertification, which is effective immediately, will allow Flexjet to continue to innovate nimbly.
“We congratulate our pilots and we take their vote of support in us very seriously,” said Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro. “At Flexjet, employees are the foundation of our Company, and we are delighted to embrace our pilots as family – without interference.”