July 15, 2015
By John Quinn, LaborPress
Plainfield, Ind. – Teamsters Local 357 in Plainfield, Indiana, filed a lawsuit against Republic Airways for unilaterally changing pilots' working conditions. The company established "open time" flying without first negotiating with the union. More than 2,200 Republic pilots are members of Local 357 and have been seeking a fair contract from the company since 2007.
The lawsuit asserts that the company's changes were unlawful since they were not negotiated and approved by the union. In fact, the items changed were the subject of ongoing bargaining between Local 357 and Republic. The purpose of the lawsuit is to compel Republic Airlines to act within the law in accordance with the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the federal law which governs labor relations in the airline industry. Local 357 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis (case number: 1:15-cv-01066-WTL-MJD) seeking injunctive relief. Pending the outcome of this lawsuit, the pilots will maintain their normal practice with regard to flying.
"Republic has had eight years to come to an agreement. The pilots are seeking a fair contract that spells out pay, benefits and working conditions, so that the company can't give something and take it back at their whim. That's what these hardworking, skilled pilots deserve now—plain and simple," said Jim Clark, President of Local 357.