Teamsters Picket Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Golf Tournament

NetJets’ (headquartered in Columbus, Ohio) workers who are represented by Teamsters Local 284 (Columbus, Ohio) launched an informational picketing campaign at the PGA’s Memorial Tournament (Columbus, Ohio).

The Teamsters represent aircraft mechanics, maintenance control, aircraft fuelers, aircraft cleaners, and stock clerks at NetJets. The union is mad that the company is not giving into its demands during negotiations for a successor collective bargaining agreement. One of the arguments is that NetJets does not employ enough mechanics, i.e. workers who would be required to join the union and pay dues to the union. Another is that NetJets mechanics do not make $15 per hour while alleging the CEO of NetJet’s parent company (Berkshire Hathaway Energy) received $17.5 million in compensation.

The public shame campaign, which was held at the non-commercial air field where some NetJets planes land when transporting players and fans to the PGA golf tournament, is interesting. First, the Teamsters chose to picket The Memorial because several NetJets customers will be flying NetJets private aircraft to the tournament. Many of these customers make the same or more than $17.5 million per year and run their own companies. For them, they understand labor costs, union propaganda, and will likely not stop using NetJets because of this flyer. In fact, many can’t because they’re locked into multi-year fractional ownership agreements.

So in the end, what did Teamsters Local 284 get for spending members’ dues money printing flyers and probably paying protesters (who may not have even been Teamsters members)? Not $15/hour for workers. Not more dues-paying members. Maybe a participation trophy for showing up?

According to NetJets, “The Teamsters today issued more misleading claims about NetJets maintenance operations. These claims are intended to advance the union’s agenda in negotiations over a new contract for approximately 215 represented maintenance professionals employed by NetJets. Their approach does nothing to help the parties reach an agreement.”

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 285-5342 or email him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.

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