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Republic Airways fires president of pilots union

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Amid prolonged contract negotiations, Republic Airways Holdings Inc. has fired the president of the pilots union for its regional airlines.

Craig Moffatt was fired April 25, while he was in required training on the 80-seat to 110-seat jets for which he is a first officer, said Dan Silbaugh, recording secretary for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 357, based in Plainfield.

It was not clear to the union why he was fired.

Republic spokesman Peter Kowalchuk said the company never comments on personnel matters and couldn’t respond to the union’s allegations without delving into Moffatt’s case.

The union asserted that Moffatt’s firing violated procedure. Silbaugh said Moffatt should have been allowed to finish training, and if he failed, have his case reviewed by a union-company board before being disciplined. Moffatt had not failed a test, Silbaugh said.

Local 357 represents about 2,000 pilots who fly for Chautauqua Airlines, Shuttle America and Republic Airlines.

The union has been in contentious contract negotiations with Republic since 2007. The union recently canceled a vote on Republic’s latest offer, and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Heller accused union negotiators of blocking pay raises for their members.

Moffatt, who lives in Wisconsin, has been with Republic since May 2010, after the company acquired Midwest Airlines. Moffatt previously spent 15 years with Midwest and was a captain flying the 130-seat to 172-seat MD-80.

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