If you're a big regional airline and you need pilots to ratify a new labor contract, how do you sweeten the pot?
Republic Airways - it flies smaller jets for United, American and Delta - did all the usual things last week when it compiled its last-best-and-final offer for pilots. It offered them pay raises. It promised better work rules. It gave them chances to make even more money if they fly extra. It promised signing bonuses.
But management has done one more thing. It added a new holiday for pilots, who are represented by the Teamsters.
Super Bowl Sunday.
Other airlines do the same, but according to management, this would be the first time Republic Airways pilots will be paid extra for working on Super Bowl Sunday.
While this is a cute addition to the proposed contract, it's worth noting relations between the Teamsters and Republic are a mess. Republic executives claim that if the pilots don't approve this contract the company will be forced into a "non-consensual restructuring." That could mean bankruptcy. Or it could be an idle threat.
If you're bored or for some reason interested in the contract, I am embedding it below. Be warned: It's more than 200 pages.
If you do read it, let me know what you think is most interesting in the comments section.
There's no word yet on whether pilots will actually vote on this contract. My sense is that they probably will, though I'm not sure they will approve it. There's a pilot shortage these days, so pilots have more leverage than in the past. But it's too early to know for sure.
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