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Thu, Oct 19, 2006

Teamsters Picket NetJets Headquarters, NBAA Convention

Union: Company Executives Attempt to Slash Workers' Health Care Coverage

Teamster mechanics, aircraft fuelers, cleaners and stock clerks employed by NetJets, Inc., a provider of fractional and air charter service, continued informational picketing and leafleting on October 17 and 18. Members of Teamsters Local 284 in Columbus, the workers drew attention to their 'fruitless contract negotiations with NetJets.'

"Outsourcing mechanics' jobs and defending its actions by comparing our superior wages and benefits to those of lower-paid, non-union mechanics is the wrong way to go," said Chad Morrison, Local 284 steward and member of the union's negotiating committee. "Cheaper is not necessarily better when it comes to aircraft mechanics."

The workers -- in negotiations since January 2005, unable to reach a fair agreement on wages, miscellaneous working conditions and health insurance -- picketed and handed out leaflets at the company's headquarters in Columbus and the NBAA annual meeting, held in Orlando, Florida.

"The company's latest proposal slashes health insurance contributions to the point where benefits would have to be cut or employees would have to start making massive out-of-pocket contributions just to keep their families insured," Morrison said.

"NetJets' insistence on using cheaper, non-union mechanics to service aircraft is at the core of the contract dispute," said Allen Price, Local 284 President. Negotiations between the parties resume in Columbus, Ohio on October 30.

"Management's own data shows Teamster represented mechanics are the most productive in the system. We are dealing with an employer that has made a conscious decision to grow its non-union maintenance operations for no other reason than to avoid a union contract."



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