May 22, 2001
Strike Authorization Ballot Mailed to Atlas ALPA Pilots
WASHINGTON, DC -- The elected leaders of the Atlas Air pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) today announced the mailing of a strike-authorization ballot to their members.
"From the beginning of negotiations last April, we have been committed to reaching a successful conclusion to these negotiations without a strike. We remain committed to that goal and continue to be optimistic that it can be accomplished," said Captain Gregory Amussen, chairman of the Atlas pilots' unit in ALPA.
"However, the affirmative result that we anticipate receiving in this strike-authorization ballot will give us additional leverage and flexibility as we pursue our objectives," he said.
"The recent furlough of Atlas pilots in the U.S. -- and the continued operation of the airlines foreign subsidiary in Stansted, England, using foreign crew members junior to most of the furloughed American crew members -- raise additional concerns, making our work to expedite a negotiated agreement even more important. We intend to address these issues quickly and fully. Only a labor agreement can offer the stability and assurances that the pilots need in the face of these corporate developments," Amussen said.
"Toward that end, we have petitioned both the NMB and Atlas management to schedule more meeting time in June so the parties may conclude these discussions, reach a settlement, and move on with the important task of building a strong and competitive international cargo company -- one that provides secure and rewarding careers for our members," Amussen said. "Unfortunately, to date Atlas management has refused to schedule additional meeting time," he said.
Amussen concluded, "Our decision to seek a strike authorization at this time not only responds to the groundswell of advocacy coming from our members, but also serves as an additional step that is both consistent with and supportive of our goals."
The National Mediation Board assigned a federal mediator to the contract negotiations in September 2000. The pilot group at Atlas has been in negotiations for a first contract since April 2000.
Atlas is the worlds third-largest cargo carrier and the worlds largest operator of Boeing 747 freighters. Last year the airline received the distinction of being ranked the worlds most financially fit carrier. Atlas' pilots and flight engineers are represented by the ALPA, the worlds oldest and largest pilots union. ALPA represents more than 59,000 pilots at 49 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
Contact: John Caputo, Communications Chairman, 410-810-9023