Warren Buffett wants to cut benefits of his planes? pilots

FamilyGuy

Well-known member
Joined
May 12, 2005
Posts
581
In today's New York Post:

http://nypost.com/2015/05/26/warren-buffetts-airplanes-thriving-despite-pilot-shortage/

The 1 percent is giving Warren Buffett agita again.


Berkshire Hathaway-owned business-jet operation NetJets is trying to wrangle benefit cuts from its pilots union just as boom times fuel a pilot shortage that could crimp its business.


A lot of business jet owners are looking for pilots and can't find them, a former NetJets executive said.


With the economy on the rebound, wealthy customers have returned to buying shares in NetJets planes in exchange for flying hours. Last year it sold 3,500 NetJets Marquis cards - 1,000 more than expected, the exec said.


Nevertheless, NetJets, which almost collapsed during the downturn when CEOs cut back on private-jet travel, said it has to trim costs to meet Berkshire?s demands for greater returns.


The situation is fueling testy talks with its 2,700-member pilots union, which said the company wants cuts when business is soaring.
"This year and the next year are going to be the best years [the business-jet industry] has had in the last decade, and we're not really in a position to capitalize on it," said Pedro Leroux, president of the union, NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots.


NetJets is building up its fleet after selling planes to pay down debt during the downturn. Its fleet was 26 percent smaller at the end of 2014 compared to 2008, when it had 634 jets, according to research firm JetNet.


It has been subcontracting more flights to meet demand and cover for grounded planes after cutting back on its spare parts inventory.
Buffett, who admitted NetJets would have crashed and burned had Berkshire not backed its nearly $2 billion of debt, suggested the company would have no problem filling cockpit seats.


If we have an opening, we have lots and lots of people who want to come join us, and we have very few that want to leave, he told Fox Business this month.


Last year, 98 pilots either resigned or were fired, more than double the previous year, the union said. Its own internal polling data show 30 percent of NetJets pilots are considering a move to a commercial airline.
They are the highest numbers we've ever seen, the union's Leroux said.
NetJets pegged its pilot losses at 93, lower than the union's tally, and said only 22 of them quit for competitors. The company said it is halfway toward its goal of hiring 127 pilots this year.


During the recession, NetJets furloughed 495 pilots, of whom 240 have returned.


NetJets wants to maintain the present salary and is asking pilots to start paying for some health-care benefits.


The pilots contract with NetJets expired in 2013, but they can't strike until they go through federal mediation.


NetJets goal remains as it always has been to reach a fair agreement with the pilots, a NetJets rep said.
 
Last edited:

pmaestrales

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Posts
15
I caught this article earlier today in the NY POST as well, and the following sentence really stood out to me...

The pilots contract with NetJets expired in 2013, but they can't strike until they go through federal mediation.

Can someone please educate me as to why NJ pilots need the govt's permission to go on strike? It would seem to me that Warren Buffet would not feel too threatened if lawyers, feds, and union reps are calling the shots. Pressure from the bottom up requires individuals with courage but would seem to me to be a much more effective strategy.

Like I said, I know very little about this topic, but I think it is a very interesting development in such a small market especially with a company that holds such a commanding market share.

One thing is for sure, NJ owners are not the type of people that appreciate added uncertainty, so I'm guessing the wheels are going to come off sooner than later regardless of how this issue plays out.
 

imacdog

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Posts
4,196
Total Time
5000
NJA pilot contract falls under the Railroad Labor Act. Because of the RLA, our contract has not "expired" but it is "amendable" at this time. The negotiating process leading up to a strike is all controlled under the RLA so you won't see legal wildcat strikes that you might with other unionized companies outside of aviation.
 

LAZYB

Time wounds all heels.
Joined
Dec 6, 2001
Posts
1,117
Total Time
<15000
Interesting. Thank you very much for your insight.

Can you tell us when the "contract" actually does expire?

Nope. Key word "amendable". :smash:
 

pmaestrales

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Posts
15
Nope. Key word "amendable". :smash:

So you are saying that the contract never expires because the expiration date can always be amended? If so, it seems to me that the agreement would still have a particular date that can be referenced even if it was just for show.
 

Pervis

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Posts
1,609
Total Time
12000+
There is no expiration date. The only way the terms of the CBA can be ignored is if we are released for self help, or in other words, a strike. Then the company can cease all benefits, lock us out, and scab away. Until we amend the existing agreement or get released by the NMB, we remain status quo.

Meanwhile, we continue to see a reduction in benefits due to simple inflation, as most pilots are at the cap. We continue to see a reduction in QOL on the road due to short sighted decisions by the EMT, including reduced hotel quality, reduced food quality, reduced rest and overworking us to the detriment of safety, and mix issues due to a purely reactive policy.
 

Checks

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Posts
447
Total Time
7,000
So u guys can't strike anytime soon? Ur screwed if that's the case. It will be 2007 forever for ur paychecks
 

Diesel

TEB Hilton resident
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
4,394
Total Time
696969
So u guys can't strike anytime soon? Ur screwed if that's the case. It will be 2007 forever for ur paychecks

Jesus I hope my son doesn't learn to write like this.
 

Checks

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Posts
447
Total Time
7,000
Dear Mr. Diesel,

You missed the comma after "Jesus". Your sentence should have been written as follows:

Jesus, I hope my son doesn't learn to write like this.

Additionally, some people do not appreciate the use of "Jesus" in such a frivolous manner.

Upon further reflection I have decided your post is satisfactory as is because it is only a message board.

Have a good weekend,

Mr. Checks
 

Diesel

TEB Hilton resident
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
4,394
Total Time
696969
Dear Mr. Diesel,



You missed the comma after "Jesus". Your sentence should have been written as follows:



Jesus, I hope my son doesn't learn to write like this.



Additionally, some people do not appreciate the use of "Jesus" in such a frivolous manner.



Upon further reflection I have decided your post is satisfactory as is because it is only a message board.



Have a good weekend,



Mr. Checks


I'll use Allah next time.

Thanks for posting like a teenager.

Wasn't it easier to post a coherent sentence?
 

ultrarunner

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,324
Total Time
10000
When push comes to shove, I think in the end NJ will get their release....if it comes to that....

There wouldn't be a PEB for a frac, so I'd expect this to be settled....
 

BentOver

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Posts
1,133
Total Time
6
We are just as screwed as Southwest, Delta, American and United then

Two things....

I always thought the saying went "we're not an airline!" Hopefully someone somewhere doesn't dig that up and use it against you in an arbitration....

Second...

As a former furloughee, who got reamed here for airing NJA's dirty laundry when Sokol was in town. ( simply cut and pasting from an online article), it sure seems the tide has changed.....

Best of luck, hopefully you can come close although nearly doubling pay seems a long shot in front of an arbitrator without giving up a lot.
 

realityman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Posts
781
Total Time
9500
Two things....

I always thought the saying went "we're not an airline!" Hopefully someone somewhere doesn't dig that up and use it against you in an arbitration....

Second...

As a former furloughee, who got reamed here for airing NJA's dirty laundry when Sokol was in town. ( simply cut and pasting from an online article), it sure seems the tide has changed.....

Best of luck, hopefully you can come close although nearly doubling pay seems a long shot in front of an arbitrator without giving up a lot.

There's no arbitrator. We are in mediation. There is a mediator. It's not semantics. An arbitrator can reach a compromise for the two parties, actually making the decision of what each side gets. A mediator can make SUGGESTIONS, but has no power to compel either side to accept his/her suggestions. If the mediator believes one side or the other just isn't moving, he can park us for a very long time (negotiations can still continue outside of mediation at this time) and there will be no cooling off period or release to strike. Or, the mediator can start the 30-day cooling off period followed by release to self help (strike). Somewhere in there the NMLRB comes into play in releasing us for a strike.

But there is no arbitrator involved in this process. Neither side needs to present anything "reasonable".

Hope this helps. I do get a little cross-eyed with the whole process, so if someone else has some clarity to shed on the subject feel free to chime in.
 

BentOver

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Posts
1,133
Total Time
6
There's no arbitrator. We are in mediation. There is a mediator. It's not semantics. An arbitrator can reach a compromise for the two parties, actually making the decision of what each side gets. A mediator can make SUGGESTIONS, but has no power to compel either side to accept his/her suggestions. If the mediator believes one side or the other just isn't moving, he can park us for a very long time (negotiations can still continue outside of mediation at this time) and there will be no cooling off period or release to strike. Or, the mediator can start the 30-day cooling off period followed by release to self help (strike). Somewhere in there the NMLRB comes into play in releasing us for a strike.

But there is no arbitrator involved in this process. Neither side needs to present anything "reasonable".

Hope this helps. I do get a little cross-eyed with the whole process, so if someone else has some clarity to shed on the subject feel free to chime in.


Thanks for clarification.... Although I understand the nuts and bolts of the process, terms and obviously the difference you pointed out, escape me.


The point I was trying to make though, if it were to come to a mediator releasing you to self help (or making you wait).. The idea that for years and years the pilot rhetoric has been "we are not an airline..." But now you want airline pay....

Someone( mediator) could look at that and think..."wait a minute, they have been stating for years they are not an airline".

I know it's a small and probably unimportant point to make, but just throwing it out there for the sake of arguement
 

BentOver

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Posts
1,133
Total Time
6
We didn't get released last time ... and we got a contract

True, but it was a contract that had SIC's bailing left and right.... There had to be an amendment to it because the company was losing tons on training costs for new hires...(5 bases, $45k starting pay)... And even then IBB saw some gains for management...

And it is the same contract that is now being referred to as a POS...

NJA wasn't the "elite"" place to go until 2007... And that only lasted 2years... NJA's time at the top was very short. The 2005 contract was not the greatest ever( which is what NJASAP is going for now)
 

Mooneymite

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2005
Posts
197
Total Time
100+
We didn't get released last time ... and we got a contract

According to Pedro's latest missive, he thinks Hansell wants a strike.

For us to prevail through a strike lockout, we need:

1. Absolute unity.
2. Each individual financially prepared for a period of no income/no benefits.

So, as I see it, 50% of our success depends on us individually.

Are YOU ready?
 
Top