Teamsters Local 357 has filed a lawsuit against Republic Airways Holidays (Indianapolis) charging the company has unilaterally changed the working conditions for its pilots regarding “open time” flying. Here is the full statement:
On July 9, Teamsters Local 357 in Plainfield, Indiana, filed a lawsuit against Republic Airways for unilaterally changing pilots’ working conditions regarding “open time” flying without first agreeing with the union about those changes. More than 2,200 Republic pilots are members of Local 357 and have been seeking a fair contract from the company since 2007.
The lawsuit asserts that the company’s changes are unlawful alterations in the status quo and that they took place even while the items changed were the subject of ongoing bargaining between Local 357 and Republic. The purpose of the lawsuit is to compel Republic’s compliance with its lawful duties under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the federal law which governs labor relations in the airline industry.
To uphold the principle that Republic can only make changes to the pilots’ agreement through the bargaining process, Local 357 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis (case number: 1:15-cv-01066-WTL-MJD) seeking injunctive relief, declaratory judgment and other appropriate relief against the company’s unlawful changes in the status quo of pilot contractual rates of pay, rules and working conditions.
“Republic has had eight years to come to an agreement. The pilots are seeking a fair contract that spells out pay, benefits and working conditions, so that the company can’t give something and take it back at their whim. That’s what these hardworking, skilled pilots deserve now—plain and simple,” said Jim Clark, President of Local 357.
Pending the outcome of this lawsuit, the pilots will maintain their normal practice with regard to flying.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has responded to the lawsuit:
On Thursday, July 9, 2015, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 357, representing Republic’s pilots, filed suit against the Company alleging that the Company unilaterally increased compensation for pilots and new hires in violation of the Railway Labor Act. We believe the suit is completely without merit, and the Company will take appropriate steps to respond. The specific allegations made by IBT Local 357 are incomplete and factually incorrect.
The IBT and the Company are currently in the middle of negotiations supervised by the National Mediation Board for an amended collective bargaining agreement.
The Company stands ready with its current proposal to make a significant investment in our pilots, which is not only fair and equitable, but would place our pilots ahead of their peers in the regional airline industry. This lawsuit is nothing more than an improper tactic by IBT Local 357 to distract our employees and pressure the Company with respect to the negotiations process.
Top Copyright Photo: Formerly operated for Frontier Airlines (2nd), Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N163HQ (msn 19000255) is painted in the Republic Airways house livery, but it is operated by Republic Airlines (2nd). The regional jet lines up for the runway at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
Republic Airways aircraft slide show: