NetJets pilots say Berkshire Hathaway picket drew over 800 protesters

The head of NetJets pilots union tweaked Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger after he compared the operator’s value to Part 121 airlines.

By Doug Gollan, May 11, 2023

The head of NetJets pilots union tweaked Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger after he compared the operator’s value to Part 121 airlines

The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) issued a press release claiming Saturday’s informational picket outside the 2023 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders’ Meeting in Omaha as the largest in the operator’s history.

The release called the picket “an extraordinary demonstration of membership solidarity and resolve.”

It drew more than 800 off-duty pilots and their family members from across the United States, according to NJASAP.

NJASAP President Capt. Pedro Leroux said, “The NetJets pilots and our families will not stand idly by and watch the continued erosion of our brand’s reputation as a career destination carrier.”

He added, “Quite the contrary, for however long it takes, we will pursue a competitive package of wages, benefits, and working conditions that positions the brand to attract and to retain the pilot talent required to support the world’s most complex and dynamic flying environment.”

NJASAP has been holding information pickets at major events since the Super Bowl in February in Arizona.

The release stated, “To date, NetJets has chosen not to acknowledge the sustained pilot labor crisis and to take bold steps to hone its competitive edge, potentially jeopardizing its ability to maintain the caliber of workforce required to support the fractional’s very demanding operation.”

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger told shareholders, “NetJets has been remarkable. You can argue it’s worth as much as any airline now.”

Responding to Munger, Leroux said, “NJASAP agrees – in the same way we unreservedly agree with a statement in the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report that emphasizes the importance of recruiting and retaining qualified, competent personnel.”

Praise for NetJets CEO

During the meeting, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett praised NetJets Chairman and CEO Adam Johnson,

He said, “Adam Johnson has performed; you can’t believe what he’s done with the business.”

He added, “It was a tough model for a long time, but (Johnson) has brought it where it is, and we should have a wonderful company forever.”

Neither Buffett nor Munger mentioned the current labor unrest.

The union recently filed a lawsuit against NetJets, accusing the company of violating federal labor law.

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