9-16-13 See our ad in today's Wall Street Journal (A14)

The Dream

You dream of flying for a company that respects you and one that you can take pride in. It lies just outside your grasp and two things stand in your way: experience and fierce competition. Now you need to decide which “regional” airline is the wisest investment to help reach your goal. After all, no one wants to look back in ten years and have regrets. The recruiter is waving a $5,000 check in your face and all you have to do is agree to a class date. Before you make a career-altering decision, take a step back -- past the shiny paint, signing bonus and turbine engines that beckon you and familiarize yourself with what life on the line is really like at Republic Airways. We're going to give you an in-depth look at how the company operates and why you, as a potential new-hire pilot, should make sure you precisely know what you would be getting into.

You may be thinking that we’ve compiled a laundry list of reasons of why you shouldn’t work here or that we wish the company would vanish into aviation obscurity. That is not the case. We want the company to succeed and prosper. We want to be able to tell pilots at other companies how wonderful it is here and how great CEO Bryan Bedford and COO Wayne Heller manage our relationship. Instead, management chooses to play a game with no winners but themselves. They want us to believe the only way RAH can succeed is subjecting pilots to a sub-standard work structure.

To be fair, let’s highlight the good parts of Republic: most aircraft are relatively new and feature glass cockpits, the crews are top-notch, travel benefits, and a great maintenance department. Over the years, the glass cockpits become less important to you, yet travel and health care costs become more important. What may lure you to RAH now may not be important to you in the future. Airline piloting is a rewarding career in many ways, but here management will do their best to keep that at a minimum. They continue to beat the competition and expand the business by ensuring that you are among the lowest compensated pilots in the industry. RAH will work against you in every possible fashion to keep you cheap at your expense and sacrifice.

The fundamental bottom line for our pilots is that while you are employed at RAH and assigned to one of the self-declared “regional certificates”; you will remain a “regional pilot” at a “stepping stone airline”. Although many of our pilots have been stepping on this “temporary stone” for years, RAH considers their pilots a temporary labor force while rewarding management with life long and lucrative careers.

As you continue reading, you may ask yourself “How could a company let issues grow to the point that the pilot's union is creating a website like this?” Believe it or not, the answer is simply that they do it on purpose. Astonishingly, this “stepping stone” atmosphere was intentionally designed to get low experienced pilots in the door who will stay for a minimum time then quit once better employment is found, thereby positioning the company into a temporary staffing agency for other airlines. The second question you may ask is “How can this cycle of pilots be expected to continue without future access to low experience pilots willing and able to live on less than $1,000 a month?” It cannot; it will have to change and it will be a rough road for everyone involved. In order to explain further, click on the tabs above to cycle through our topics of interest.

© Teamsters Local 357, 2013