Teamsters: Will Republic Airways CEO, Board Show At Shareholder Meeting?
Investors, Workers to Address Mismanagement, Weak Governance, Labor Unrest
WASHINGTON, July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On Wednesday, Aug. 1, Republic Airways Holdings [NASDAQ: RJET] will hold its annual shareholders’ meeting in New York City amid worker protests and growing investor concerns about the company’s mismanagement and weak governance structure.
The company moved its meeting this year from its hometown of Indianapolis, Ind. to the offices of its legal counsel in New York City, causing some to question whether the CEO and board of directors intend to show.
“Since its purchase of Frontier and Midwest Airlines in 2009, Republic has pursued a business strategy that has antagonized customers, squandered cash and undermined its core regional carrier business,” said Ken Hall, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The union is a long-term Republic shareholder and representative of nearly half of the airline’s frontline workers. “It would be a disgrace for the CEO and board to hide from shareholders and not address investor concerns regarding the future of the airline.”
The matter of board leadership will be a focal point at this year’s shareholder meeting as investors vote on a Teamster shareholder proposal calling for an independent chairman of the board. In its report, Independent Board Leadership at Republic Airways -The Final Frontier, the Teamsters note concerns about the airline’s clubby board and conflicted lead director who have allowed CEO and Chairman Bryan Bedford to create the current crisis at Republic.
Republic’s mismanagement also extends to its labor relations. Republic Airways pilots could soon strike over the company’s failure to address fundamental economic issues. With no wage increase in more than five years, some Republic pilots now qualify for food stamps. The company is also destroying morale among other work groups by delaying contract negotiations with flight attendants and violating the workplace rights of mechanics.
“We’re coming to New York to warn passengers and investors that a strike is on the horizon if management continues down its current path,” said Republic Airlines First Officer Craig Moffatt, President of Teamsters Local 357, who previously flew for 17 years as a Midwest Airlines pilot. “A strike could disrupt air travel throughout the country impacting passengers on Republic’s Frontier Airlines operation as well as regional flights for mainline carriers like US Airways, United, Delta and American.”
“The company may run to New York, but they cannot hide from the Teamsters,” said Teamsters International Vice President George Miranda, who also serves as chairman of the Teamsters’ Airline Division and president of Teamsters Joint Council 16 which represents more than 100,000 Teamsters in New York.
Republic Airways pilots, flight attendants and mechanics will be picketing outside of the meeting and hand-billing the public to inform them of the escalating problems.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including 80,000 in the airline industry. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters