Pilot union sues NetJets
COLUMBUS, OH - The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) Tuesday filed a lawsuit against NetJets Aviation, Inc., and its parent, NetJets, Inc., in the United States District Court for
COLUMBUS, OH – The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) Tuesday filed a lawsuit against NetJets Aviation, Inc., and its parent, NetJets, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. NetJets is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (BRK-B). NJASAP represents more than 2,700 pilots employed by NetJets.
NetJets and the Union have been in negotiations over a new labor agreement since late-June 2013. The parties remain far apart because senior NetJets managers continue to demand compensation and benefit concessions from pilots in spite of increased revenues, rising profits and expansion into foreign markets, such as China.
The lawsuit alleges NetJets violated two federal laws, the Stored Communications Act and the Railway Labor Act, during the course of its campaign to force compensation and benefit cuts and to destroy the Union. The Stored Communications Act prohibits unauthorized persons from accessing private and confidential electronic information while the Railway Labor Act governs labor relations in the airline and rail industries.
In the lawsuit, NJASAP alleges NetJets gained unauthorized access to the Union’s password-protected Internet message board in violation of the Stored Communications Act. The message board is a private forum for pilots to communicate with each other and their Union leaders.
“We could not let this violation of our Membership’s right to privacy go unchallenged,” NJASAP President Pedro Leroux said. “We will do everything in our power to obtain an effective remedy in a court of law.”
The lawsuit also claims NetJets violated the Railway Labor Act by conducting unlawful surveillance of pilots’ union activity. It also accuses NetJets managers of posing as pilots on social media and encouraging NJASAP and its members to engage in an illegal work slowdown, while at the same time threatening to fire pilots and falsely accusing the Union of engaging in an unlawful job action.
“It is shameful that NetJets management has become so consumed by corporate greed that it would sink low enough to try to entrap pilots,” Leroux said. “NetJets is trying to destroy the Union and to force pilots to give in to their concessionary demands – two things that will never happen.”