Dear NetJets Flight Attendants,
As President of Local 284, I want to take this opportunity to recognize your hard work and dedication. You’re responsible for the safety of passengers. You also make sure their personal needs are taken care of on every flight. In fact, you spend more time in close contact with the Company’s customers than any other group of NetJets workers. But let’s face it – sometimes your job can be a challenge; often its exhausting; and lately it’s easy to feel like you’re being taken for granted, especially when management is trying to force you to pay more for your health insurance, convince you that you don’t deserve a fair salary increase, and take away your rights on the job. Well, your Union doesn’t take you for granted and no one else should either. The Company’s past success is due in no small part to your professional service. That matters a lot to me, your Flight Attendant Executive Council (FAEC) and your fellow NetJets Flight Attendants even though it no longer matters to the people running NetJets. I want to thank you personally for all that you do, not only on the job, but also to keep our Union strong. Some other people deserve our gratitude too. I’m referring to your Flight Attendant Negotiating Committee (FANC).
When it comes to hard work and service to NetJets Flight Attendants, the members of your FANC are exemplary. Michelle Lueck, Michelle Schwartz, JoDelle Burwell, Shannon Saxe, Michael Zois, and Andrew Collis are Flight Attendants just like you. They all work full-time for the Company. They confront the same challenges on the line that you do. They also have personal lives, family members, loved ones and responsibilities away from work. Still, they have dedicated thousands of hours to represent and serve their fellow Flight Attendants in contract negotiations with the Company. I know all of you appreciate each of them making real sacrifices for the benefit of all of you. In case they don’t hear it often enough, I want them to hear it from all of us — thank you for everything you do. We don’t take you for granted!
Contract negotiations have been likened to a marathon rather than a sprint. It can be a grueling process. The hours are very long. It requires patience and perseverance — 12, 14, 16 hours or more per day spent in hotel conference rooms, month after month, year after year, only to have management negotiators repeatedly reject your good ideas and fair proposals. For each of your negotiators, the process can be exhausting and very frustrating. It would be easy for members of your FANC to throw up their hands and give in to management’s demands or step down and leave the negotiating to someone else. Not your FANC members! They aren’t backing down or giving up. Resisting management’s attack on your health insurance, securing a fair salary increase, and protecting your working conditions are their top priorities. Your FANC continues to show courage and resolve that makes me and should make everyone of you very proud. They represent the best of the NetJets Flight Attendants group.
Speaking of the best, your Flight Attendant Executive Council — Michael Zois, JoDelle Burwell, Darcey Jameson, and Jill Mawdsley — are some of the hardest working union representatives I have ever met. They are completely dedicated to representing NetJets Flight Attendants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether it’s discipline or a contract question, no problem is too big or small for them to tackle. We all appreciate everything they do!
The issues that remain to be negotiated are very important to every Flight Attendant: your salary, insurance benefits, retirement, critical working conditions, and job security. It’s a short list, but the stakes couldn’t be higher! Every level of your Union leadership – the IBT Airline Division, Local 284 and your FAEC – is focused on your contract negotiations. We’re providing your FANC with all of the resources they need, but it can’t end there. Like I said, your FANC members are just like you. When they return to the bargaining table this spring, they need to hear from all of you. They need to know that you are standing behind them as they stand up for you. It matters to them as Union representatives, as co-workers, as friends, and as individuals. Let’s thank them, and let’s urge them on to the finish line because we’re all in this together. If we support your FANC, if we defend our past gains and fight for our futures, we will secure the contract that you have earned and deserve.