WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — About 250 NetJets pilots participated in an informational picket near NetJets' private boarding lounge at Palm Beach International Airport Friday afternoon, according to the union.
The demonstration took place near 985 Morrison Field Road near West Palm Beach. Pilots, who were off-duty, were seen holding up various signs, some read "sloppy scheduling=fatigued pilots."
The demonstration comes as the private aviation company enters into contract negotiations with the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots, the union said.
NJASAP is an independent labor advocate organization that represents the 2,900-plus professional pilots who fly in the service of NetJets, which is a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, according to their website.
WPTV's Eric Pasquarelli spoke with the vice president of the NJASAP during the demonstration.
"We're trying to bring awareness to NetJets about how our compensation package is lacking in the industry, as our peers at the airlines are getting more and more lucrative contracts, we are concerned that NetJets will not be able to hire the best quality candidates," Paulette Gilbert told WPTV.
As the union's VP, Gilbert said the private aviation company entered into negotiations with the union on Feb. 6 but they have not come to an agreement yet.
A magnificent display of member solidarity and family support for the NJASAP KPBI Informational Picket outside the #NetJets FBO! Check out the Photo Gallery here ... https://t.co/TDOQREdDCx #UnionStrong pic.twitter.com/myYefOQFg3
— NJASAP (@NJASAP) February 17, 2023
"We are falling behind in our contract simply in total compensation and what is offered. So we were wanting to address those quality of life issues that everyone is experiencing right now," she told WPTV. "To be clear, NetJets does not have a hiring problem currently, but they want to double in size, and that means they're going to have to hire a lot of more people. Without being competitive, we don't think that can happen."
The union said the pilots do not intend to leave their jobs but are very passionate about making gains, and trying to be competitive.
"We all want to stay at NetJets, and so we feel like this is the next logical step to bring awareness to the company," Gilbert said. "So, they address our concerns and we can make this a career opportunity."
NetJets is a private jet company that has a private boarding lounge at Palm Beach International Airport.
According to their website, NetJets operates the largest, most diverse private aircraft fleet in the world and offers a full range of personalized private aviation solutions to meet and exceed the high standards of the world’s most discerning travelers.
Gilbert said off-duty pilots from all over the country are participating in the informational picket until 5 p.m. Friday.