Archive for May 2014

NetJets 50th Anniversary

Reaching a Golden Anniversary like NetJets will celebrate next week is a tremendous accomplishment for an aviation company – especially one that provides a luxury transportation product. NetJets will mark this occasion, enjoying its position as the world’s leading fractional ownership program. Certainly, achieving a milestone of this kind is not a happy accident; rather, it is the product of vision and execution. As the architect of our industry, former CEO Richard Santulli was the entrepreneur whose vision grew into NetJets, and a part of that vision was assembling a workforce both capable of and enthusiastic about helping him build the brand.

Observing NetJets’s 50th Anniversary next Wednesday is not merely a day to celebrate the company; rather, it is an occasion to acknowledge what organized labor has done to help NetJets reach that milestone. The NetJets Unions Coalition is privileged to recognize your efforts in a way that demonstrates your value to the organization and reinforces the solidarity that binds all unionized NetJets employees. Without question, union labor powers NetJets, and this is a message that must not be lost in the commotion of management’s celebration.

With the day’s events largely centered in Columbus, the Coalition’s efforts will follow suit. For more information about the event, please talk with your Union Representatives or send an email to

In unity,

FO John Malmborg                                                Paul Suffoletto

NJASAP President                                                 Teamsters Local 284 President


Union Dues

Dues only increase when your yearly salary increases.  Dues have been and will always be 1.125% of your yearly salary.  Dues do not go up or down with extended days, holiday pay, etc.   Again, what you pay is based only on your yearly salary.  The Union updates your salaries with the Company annually.  However, the Union has not updated salaries with the Company in two years.  The most recent update is the first in two years, and what is reflected in your Union dues is the correct amount you should have been paying last year but did not.  The Union/Company is back charging one month (April).  The Company failed to pass on the correct salary information to the Local.  When the Company was audited, the issue became known.  We apologize we did not send out a memo alerting members of the update and payroll change.  If anyone has a question about your union dues, please call the Local 284 at 1-800-237-1201 and speak to Michelle.

Live From Omaha: “It’s All Just Smoke and Mirrors”

The Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s Meeting is the NetJets unionized employees’ singular opportunity to communicate with Berkshire investors during the course of the year. How we craft and choose to communicate that message are decisions that require incredible consideration and care. This audience is unique and not necessarily labor friendly: Let’s be honest, the vast majority of investors, especially those who own Berkshire Hathaway A Shares, did not make their millions as the pioneers of worker-friendly policies. Therefore, by necessity, we approached the meeting by focusing on what matters most to shareholders: their investment.

The NetJets Unions Coalition developed a multi-component campaign aimed at reaching the maximum possible shareholders with a message that had the greatest capacity to resonate with them. After hours of debate, we settled upon the following message:

NetJets’ dazzling short-term profits have resulted in lackluster performance that jeopardizes its long-term viability.

Put another way, the financial gains CEO Jordan Hansell’s Executive Management Team has touted in the media have come at the expense of the operation and owner experience, and from every indication that may very well spell disaster for the future of our Company. This theme is woven into every aspect of the Coalition’s campaign. The smoke-and-mirrors concept, from a visual perspective, was viewed as an intriguing, non-hostile option for engaging shareholders. While some may view this is a soft-touch, we chose, for this outing, to follow a very fine line. By deploying what many may view as “traditional union tactics” we risked alienating the audience, completely turning them off and dismissing our efforts out of hand.

The only major divergence from the smoke-and-mirrors campaign are the ads in the Omaha World Herald. NJASAP chose to place two half-page ads in the special Berkshire Hathaway section. The message is in keeping with the Coalition’s theme; however, the pilots union chose to take a different approach to illustrating the problems their members are seeing in the operation.

Very bright and early Saturday morning, NUC members gathered in the Prague Room of the Omaha Hilton for a final briefing before proceeding to the CenturyLink Center. The Coalition’s approach to engaging shareholders was based on suggestions provided by pilots who picketed Omaha in 2005: NJASAP Strategists sought to gain a better understanding of what did and did not work nine years ago. Several pilots commented hand billing proved very challenging, and this is not necessarily surprising. Who among us has intentionally avoided someone handing out a piece of paper or postcard on the street?

With this in mind, NUC opted to sweeten the deal: We ordered 10,000 promotional items to hand out to shareholders on their way into the Center. Each promotional, along with our handbill, was put in a bright red bag emblazed with the NUC logo and the web address. To say our bags were popular is a profound understatement. Shareholders flocked to pilots whose arms were loaded down with bags, and to be honest, we could not keep up with demand. As lines of shareholders entered the CenturyLink Center, and, later in the morning while standing in queue waiting for transport to the NetJets Static Display, the vast majority were carrying the bags, and it was a beautiful site. The Coalition was well represented as shareholders visited the booths of Berkshire companies.

Throughout the day, the Omaha Team engaged in several conversations with interested shareholders, and the media representatives, NJASAP President John Malmborg and Capt. Brian Ward, talked with various members of the press. The conversations, as you would expect, were largely guided by talking points reflective of the short-term profits/long-term viability theme. Numerous conversations were started and contacts made, leading us to view this initiative as a remarkable success. We anticipate to see our efforts bear fruit through the remainder of the year.

On a final note, you may find watching Fox News Correspondent Liz Claman’s Friday afternoon interview with NetJets CEO Jordan Hansell very interesting. Just moments before she went to air, Malmborg spent a few minutes talking with her as she will point out during her chat with Hansell.

In addition to the video, please take a moment to peruse the Omaha Photo Gallery and our various media and marketing tools; links are provided to these resources above. Also, do not hesitate to offer feedback and to ask questions about these materials as well as the Omaha initiative in general by sending an email to

Quick Links:

  Omaha World Herald Ads:

Omaha Handbill:

Promotionals Packet:

Photo Gallery:

Retractable Sign Design:

 Mobile Billboard Design:

Media Advisory:

 Hansell Interview: