Republic Airways Shareholders Send Message To Board With Vote On Teamster Proposal
Proposal for Independent Chairman of the Board Receives 48 Percent Support
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Republic Airways Holdings [NASDAQ: RJET] shareholders expressed their displeasure with company leadership during its annual shareholders’ meeting in New York City with 48 percent of votes cast backing the appointment of an independent chairman of the board. Current CEO and Chairman Bryan Bedford faces growing investor concerns about the company’s mismanagement and weak governance structure as worker unrest spreads through the airline.
The company moved its meeting this year from its hometown of Indianapolis, Ind. to the offices of its legal counsel in New York City. Noticeably absent from the meeting were any independent directors with Bedford and one other representative from management in attendance to hear shareholder concerns.
“Today’s vote reflects a serious lack of confidence by investors in Bryan Bedford’s ability to pilot this airline into the future,” 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. “Shareholders sent a resounding message to the board – it is time to break the CEO’s stranglehold on the company.”
The Teamsters issued a report, Independent Board Leadership at Republic Airways -The Final Frontier, in which the union noted concerns about the airline’s clubby board and conflicted lead director who have allowed Bedford to create the current crisis at Republic.
Republic’s mismanagement also extends to its labor relations as Teamster-represented pilots, flight attendants and mechanics protested outside the meeting. 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.
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