A U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge on Friday granted Frontier Airlines’ motion to reject its contracts with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters covering mechanics and material specialists.
The Teamsters, which represent Frontier’s mechanics, have been struggling to stop Denver-based Frontier from permanently outsourcing all of its maintenance work to El Salvador-based Aeroman. Though Frontier and the Teamsters earlier reached an agreement regarding wage cuts, their negotiations broke down after Frontier insisted on the unlimited right to permanently outsource its heavy-check aircraft maintenance. The Teamsters refused to agree to Frontier’s outsourcing demand and Frontier sought to reject the Teamster contracts.
The judge was then required by existing law to either reject the parties’ collective bargaining agreement allowing Frontier to make changes as described in the decision or to deny Frontier’s motion, leaving the Teamster agreements in place. In the end he sided with Frontier. Despite his ruling, however, the judge made clear in his decision that Frontier may outsource its aircraft maintenance only as a last resort – after it has exhausted all other options to perform the heavy check work at its Denver repair station.