EXECUTIVE / HELICOPTERS Teamsters: “Advice of Senior Aircraft Technicians Ignored by NetJets Management”
ByAviation TribunePosted on March 24, 2017 NetJets Citation X TIS MEYER/PLANEPICS.ORG
The Teamsters Airline Division and Teamsters Local 284 are concerned that NetJets management is ignoring a growing shortage of qualified aircraft mechanics to the detriment of customers, workers and the business itself.
“Senior aircraft technicians are telling the management that they need more mechanics in the field, but management is ignoring their advice,” said Chris Moore, Chairman of the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition.
“Instead of trying to recruit and retain the mostly highly skilled technicians, the company refuses to pay industry-standard wages and continues to outsource high levels of critical maintenance. The situation on the shop floor at NetJets is going from bad to worse every day. These maintenance workers are angry at management and they have run out of patience.”
NetJets mechanics and other safety employees have not received a pay increase for more than five years. The company and the union have been in contract negotiations for nearly six years.
The union blames management’s outsourcing philosophy and low-pay proposals for the delay. NetJets Aviation and NetJets Sales only employ 111 aircraft mechanics to work on its fleet of approximately 400 aircraft. Other major airlines employ up to 10 mechanics for every one aircraft.
“We don’t believe that the customers have all the facts when it comes to who is performing the maintenance on their aircraft,” said Mark Vandak, President of Local 284 in Columbus.
“The reality of the situation is that the majority of people performing critical aircraft maintenance don’t work for NetJets. When our members complain, they’re told that NetJets isn’t in the maintenance business. NetJets flies airplanes for profit. That makes no sense whatsoever.”
In contract negotiations, management continues to reject union proposals that would result in the assignment of more critical maintenance functions to mechanics, as well as measures that would support workers employed by NetJets.
Mechanics say that they sit idle while individuals who work for third parties perform maintenance procedures on customer aircraft, sometimes at the very same location where skilled NetJets technicians are located.
“It’s unacceptable that NetJets has caused a situation where its own highly skilled aircraft technicians and maintenance support workers have to try to convince management to assign them critical maintenance work at competitive wages,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division.
“The customers pay for a premium service. We believe they expect NetJets to have a well-developed, in-house maintenance system staffed by highly paid aircraft maintenance professionals. With a worsening shortage of qualified mechanics, management needs to work with us, not against us, to solve a very real problem.”
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Airline Division and Local 284 represent mechanics, maintenance control, aircraft fuelers, aircraft cleaners and stock clerks. The Columbus-based business jet operator is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 767-200 and -300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the frame-to-floor-beam joints and frames common to shear ties at certain locations of fuselage structure are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires inspections for cracking of certain frame inner chords and webs common to the floor beam joint and at frames common to the shear ties at certain sections, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that indicates that a section of the wing and aft fuselage is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires an inspection to determine if certain modifications have been done. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products
We are publishing a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Sikorsky) Model S-92A helicopters. This AD requires inspecting certain bearings. This AD is prompted by reports of failed bearings with subsequent loss of tail rotor (TR) control. The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these helicopters.
21 aviation associations send letter criticizing the Safety Board for its role in a skewed NBC News report on flying safety.
In a September 23 letter to the National Transportation Safety Board, 21 general aviation associations wrote to voice their displeasure with the panel’s apparent role in a recent NBC Nightly News report on an aircraft accident that portrayed personal flying as a highly risky activity. The groups are urging the NTSB to “publicly convey that general aviation is one of the safest modes of transportation in the United States.”
“Given the hundreds of thousands of flight hours each year it is understandable that aviation accidents receive significant media attention because they are so infrequent given the enormous amount of private and business flying in the United States,” the groups said in the letter. “The media’s reporting of general aviation accidents should be balanced just as we believe NTSB accident investigations should be thorough and rely solely on facts and not speculation. We believe the NTSB has an inherent responsibility to help provide media outlets with a comprehensive view of safety trends and outline the improvements in general aviation safety over the years.”
When the NTSB first put general aviation safety on its Most Wanted List of safety improvements in 2011, the industry applauded. Now, the GA groups appear to be growing weary of the bull’s-eye that this label puts on aviation’s back.
The NBC report noted that loss of control is the No. 1 cause of fatal general aviation accidents and quoted statistics supplied to the network by the NTSB. The piece failed, however, to note that GA safety has been improving over the years and in 2014 recorded the lowest fatal accident rate ever.
“We, as a responsible industry, do everything within our power to ensure that safety remains our top priority and we must continue to work together to manage risk in general aviation,” the aviation groups, which included AOPA, EAA and NBAA, wrote. “We must not let media reports like these discredit the hard work and gains we have all made together, and we encourage the NTSB to help set the record straight.”
This AD requires repetitive detailed inspections for damage on the fuselage skin at certain frames, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions.
Click below for the movie clip at the Boeing Site!