The Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters delivered a letter to the National Mediation Board on Monday requesting to be released from mediation in its contract negotiations on behalf of pilots employed by Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings. "This will set the stage for the management group at Republic Airlines to either negotiate in good faith or face self-help by the Republic pilots with the full backing of my office and all 1.4 million Teamsters," Teamsters Airline Division Director Capt. David Bourne wrote in a separate letter to pilots.
Citing an impasse in mediation efforts to reach a settlement with the company, the Teamsters have requested that the NMB end the mediation process and extend arbitration to the parties. The Teamsters said in the letter they have dutifully committed to mediation with Republic Airways while the company has made no meaningful attempt at negotiating, instead engaging in a pattern of unilateral management efforts that undercut the mediation process, according to Bourne.
The company attempted to discipline one of the pilots for performing work on behalf of the union, the Teamsters said. Additionally, Republic Airways has tried to impose a new pay rate and instituted a signing bonus to lure new pilots to the company rather than negotiating these items under the auspices of the NMB. The request to end mediation for the pilots and resume arbitration is meant to move the dispute to the next stage of the dispute-settlement procedure in accordance with the Railway Labor Act.