'NetJets continues assault on union member rights,' says NJASAP

NJASAP, the union representing the pilots of NetJets, is accusing the company of ‘coercive’ interrogations of pilots.

By Doug Gollan, May 24, 2024

NJASAP, the union representing NetJets pilots, is accusing the unit of Berkshire Hathaway of an “assault on its unionized pilot group.”

The allegations come just weeks after the pilots approved a revised contract.

The cockpit crews will realize $1.6 billion in pay increases over the next five years.

Pilots voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratification by a 78.31% to 21.69% margin.

In total, 2,390 pilots voted in favor of the deal versus 662 who voted to reject it.

In a press release, NJASAP said, “Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets Aviation, Inc., continued the assault on its unionized pilot group by subjecting a crewmember who participated in a late-November 2023, informational picket – as was their lawful, federally protected right to do – to coercive interrogation.”

The union claims, “During an hour-long meeting held late Thursday afternoon, the pilot was badgered with the same questions asked repeatedly and in multiple ways about protected Union activity. This occurred even after the pilot was falsely reassured at the meeting’s outset that the issue and line of inquiry was not about picketing activity.”

NJASAP said Thursday followed a similar meeting with Paulette Gilbert, a member of the union’s leadership, on Tuesday.

“Much like her pilot peer, she was repeatedly questioned about the union’s lawful and protected activities,” according to the release.

“Management’s line of questioning suggests this was a picketing logistics fishing expedition,” NJASAP President Capt. Pedro Leroux said.

He added, “NJASAP and our members are outraged by this egregious conduct, which we view as unlawful surveillance of protected union activity under the Railway Labor Act.”

After publication, NetJets reached out to us to say it “doesn’t comment on investigations involving its employees, regardless of their union affiliation.”

NetJets-NJASAP negotiations

The contentious negotiations lasted over a year.

NJASAP launched a series of ads and social media posts questioning safety at the world’s largest private jet company.

NetJets alleged an orchestrated self-help campaign by the union back in January.

The alleged campaign was designed to increase costs and inconvenience customers. Pilots were accused of escalated cancelations for maintenance write-ups and fatigue calls.

NetJets told NJASAP, “Flight delays are up, especially in the last two months,” adding, “These delays cause irreparable damage to NetJets’ brand and service reputation.”

NJASAP denied the charges, although NetJets provided an analysis of increases.

NetJets growth

NetJets has placed options for up to 2,000 new private jets over the past year.

The options are with Textron Aviation, Bombardier, and Embraer.

It was also confirmed as the mystery customer for 12 Challenger 3500s.

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