Federal Lawsuit Underscores Alienation of Labor Stakeholders
(Washington, D.C.) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents approximately 340 pilots and flight attendants for Global Aviation’s two airlines World Airways and North American Airlines, are calling on the company’s board of directors to take swift and decisive action in selecting a chief executive officer with a proven track record of turning an airline around.
Global Aviation emerged from bankruptcy Feb. 13, 2013 after pilots and flight attendants made significant sacrifices to save what had been the biggest charter-flight company for the U.S. military.
Since then, Global’s CEO Robert Binns – who pocketed a seven-figure “retention payment” shortly after Global emerged from bankruptcy – abruptly quit. The current interim CEO, Charles McDonald, President of Global Aero Logistics, is part of the past management team that brought this company from financial solvency in 2007 to bankruptcy in 2012.
Previously McDonald was teamed up with Robert Binns at the now defunct Transmeridian Airlines and with the current chief financial officer, Bill Garrett, who served Gemini Air Cargo and Vanguard Airlines – both companies that have since ceased operations. The company also brought aboard a new chief operating officer and director of operations for World Airways; both come from ASTAR Air Cargo which shuttered operations in June 2012.
Not surprisingly, amid this chaos, the company has lost yet another important customer and has failed to attract any new long term customers since emerging from bankruptcy. Management has also failed to honor and abide by the terms of its labor agreements, further undermining the interests of pilots and flight attendants – key stakeholders in the company. The Teamsters Union filed suit today in federal court to enjoin the company from further abuses.
“Global’s employees accepted significant concessions to help the company emerge from bankruptcy including a nearly 27 percent reduction in wages and far more flexible work rules in exchange for an equity stake,” said Captain David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “Global’s management team has no excuses to not follow the contract that they agreed to. Instead the pilot group finds itself with a record number of grievances and an apathetic Flight Operations team and flight attendants face a very uncertain future.”
Through their ownership equity stake, employees appointed an airline executive with a successful record of navigating airlines through and out of bankruptcy to serve on our board of directors.
“There is no time for a prolonged, costly executive search,” Bourne said. “What this company needs is a new CEO that has a proven track record of successfully turning around airlines; bringing companies out of bankruptcy and working cooperatively with front line employees to bring stability and profitability to the company, its investors and stakeholders.
“Global’s mismanagement is alienating the largest single stakeholder of the company – labor. Our members are devastated to see their company squander opportunities created by our new competitive and flexible working agreement. We want to see the company thrive. Management must honor its obligations to employees and aggressively pursue new business.”
The Teamsters Airline Division represents about 80,000 workers in all segments of commercial aviation, including pilots and flight attendants. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded in 1903 and represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook.