While it is not surprising that our union has come under attack from management, the revelation that members of the decert group – our fellow pilots – are working with a third-party to further management’s agenda is truly regrettable. These tactics are right out of the union-buster’s playbook. Not surprisingly, when word got out about what’s happening at OnesSky, this compelled fellow labor organizations to take immediate, decisive action to assist us.
MUTUAL SUPPORT // NJASAP, the NetJets pilot union, has offered its immediate assistance and support, and the IBT Airline Division, which represents pilots and other crafts, has done the same. Other pilot unions will join the effort. These organizations are lending their voice because they see the third-party attack at OneSky as an attack on the rights of all professional pilots. You do not need a degree in economics to understand when a union is eliminated at one carrier it puts downward pressure on pay, benefits and working conditions at all carriers.
IT IS WHAT UNIONS DO // We will accept support and assistance from fellow pilots and unions across the aviation industry, and we will support and assist those who come under similar attack in the future. There is strength in numbers. No management team should have unilateral control over our work lives, and no pilot group should give up their greatest leverage.
TAKE CONTROL // The decert group and their management supporters are urging us to vote in favor of “no representation” in the upcoming election. We will immediately become at-will employees with no representation, no contract, no status quo and no protection against one-sided management action. We must TAKE CONTROL of this situation. Simply put, the contractual protections and benefits we enjoy today, and the right to negotiate improvements as a unified group, will vanish within one second of the vote’s certification with no guarantee that the damage can ever be undone.
EDUCATE YOURSELF // You owe it to yourself and your family to dig into the material regarding this issue to determine not only what is at stake, but, more importantly, to separate fact from fiction. Remember, during MCBA negotiations, management proposed NO SALARY INCREASE for Flexjet pilots. From every indication, management has our professional interests squarely in the crosshairs, and each of us should ask why? Why is management so intent on dismantling our Union? They have everything to gain, and we have everything to lose, including our right to bargain for improvements. It is up to us to TAKE CONTROL and to put a stop to it.
Your elected leaders and volunteers are standing by to answer your questions. Please engage us, share your input, express your concerns and ask your questions.
Dear Fellow Pilot,
I am writing to you today to offer a message of support and encouragement as you face one of the most pivotal moments in the history of your Union. I urge you to consider this message a reminder that pilots advance the profession by harnessing the power of the collective and wielding it to secure the collective bargaining agreements (CBA) that reflect their commitment to the brand as well as the skill, professionalism and expertise they offer their employer each duty day. This paradigm has certainly worked here at NJASAP. We were successful in advancing the bar in our last three contract negotiations for one simple reason – pilot unity. If you and your peers vote in support of Local 1108 in the upcoming election, then you should expect to achieve the same success at your company.
As NJASAP leaders have contemplated the situation unfolding at Local 1108, we find the timing exceedingly curious: Set against the landscape of a contentious contract negotiation, a group of dissenters is attempting to divide and to distract you with talk of decertification. Simply stated, NJASAP members would shun such reckless machinations. If management and their surrogates advocated or supported decertification while simultaneously refusing to agree to an enhanced CBA, the NJASAP Membership would not require a call to action. Rather, the pilot group would take immediate, resolute steps to protect itself against any strategy intended to create such frustration that a labor force relinquishes its collective strength – its single most critical leverage point – via decertification and replaces it with a dependence on the very people who concocted the scheme. Today, you must acknowledge the truth of the situation and affirmatively reject the ongoing attempt to rob you of your collective strength at Flexjet.
Undeniably, the power of the collective is your most vital asset. To be sure, positioning yourselves to secure an enhanced CBA requires a level of pilot solidarity and engagement that ensures you are bargaining from a place of strength. The decertification effort, regardless of any claim to the contrary, steals this advantage from you and requires you to put your dependence on management officials and/or individual employment agreements. Neither promises nor unenforceable agreements compare to the security of a CBA.
NetJets management did not simply give NJASAP members one of the best collective bargaining agreements in aviation. Rather, we, as a unified group, patently refused to accept anything less. Similarly, your ability to negotiate an improved MCBA depends, in significant part, on the degree to which you demonstrate unwavering support for your Union. During our fight to secure our 2015 CBA, we learned there is no silver bullet, rather you make movement based on a “death by a thousand cuts” strategy. It all comes down to focus, tenacity and a refusal to accept anything less than what you have earned.
While some may suggest our decision to form a NetJets-only pilots union is a basis to decertify Local 1108 as your Union, nothing could be further from the truth. When the number of NetJets pilots increased to approximately 3,000, we opted to form an independent union to represent NetJets pilots exclusively because we had the dues revenue, infrastructure and human resources to make it work. Even so, from our earliest days, each elected Leadership group has sought to maintain strong relationships with our industry peers like Local 1108. Your leaders and volunteers are working very hard for you – even as others are actively working against them. Now, more than ever, your advocates need your support.
While those who favor a union-free fractional industry may scoff at my decision to send this message of encouragement, I stand firm in my decision to do so. I can see zero benefit to any scenario in which pilots must accept whatever management deigns to offer – or to find another job. Like you, I am a pilot and when I am not transporting fractional owners and customers, I am fully focused on representing my members in a way that not only advances their interests, but also the aviation profession.
A pilot union is not a third party or an outside organization, rather it is a group of professional aviators who have joined together to work in pursuit of common goals and to employ the power of the collective to accomplish the same. Just as they do for pilots across the aviation industry, strong unions and collective bargaining agreements work, and Flexjet pilots will enjoy the fruits of that truth by supporting Local 1108 in the upcoming election.
FO Pedro Leroux