Atlas Air Worldwide Fails To Reach A Contract With Pilots


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Atlas Air Worldwide Fails To Reach A Contract With Pilots

By Jim Douglas

September 15, 2010 - The International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Airline Division announced on Tuesday that negotiations with Atlas Air Worldwide (AAWW), the holding company of Atlas Air Inc. and Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, have ended without a collective bargaining agreement.

The Teamsters and AAWW have been in negotiations to merge the existing Atlas Air Inc. and Polar Air Cargo Worldwide contracts for nearly two years. 

Atlas Air is an American cargo airline based in Purchase, New York. It operates scheduled freight flights on a wet lease basis for some of the world's leading airlines, flying to 101 cities in 46 countries.


Its crew are based in Miami International Airport, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Anchorage International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and Huntsville International Airport.

“Instead of reaching an agreement with its pilots, AAWW management has decided to let an arbitrator determine the core provisions in the pilots’ contract,” said Capt. David Bourne, Teamsters’ Airline Division Director. “Consequently, an arbitrator will impose contract terms affecting the rules for airline acquisitions, mergers, asset disposition, marketing agreements, joint ventures, foreign operations, subcontracting, salary, health insurance, retirement, profit sharing and contract duration.” 

Approximately 800 Teamsters-represented pilots employed by Atlas Air Inc. and Polar Air Cargo Worldwide operate the world’s largest fleet of modern Boeing 747 all-cargo aircraft serving customers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The express unit of German-based DHL has a 49 percent stake in Polar Air Cargo Worldwide. 

“Pilot morale is at an all time low at Atlas and Polar,” Bourne said. “The company is one of the most profitable airlines in the world, in part, because of lucrative government contracts, but management is putting its past success at risk by refusing to enter into a fair contract with their hardworking pilots who are unified in their demands.”


Under the terms of an agreement between the Teamsters and AAWW management, all unresolved contract sections must be resolved by final and binding arbitration with no judicial review. The arbitration hearing is scheduled to begin in October. 

The Teamsters’ Airline Division represents more than 40,000 employees in every craft and class of the airline industry. Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.


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