September 20, 2001
Atlas Flight Crews Mobilized to Support the Nation in Wake of War on Terrorism
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Capt. Greg Amussen, chairman of the Atlas pilots’ unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, issued the following statement in response to the federal government’s announcement of the deployment of U.S. troops to the Persian Gulf:
"Tonight, in his national address, President George W. Bush asked the American people for our unwavering support as the U.S. military initiates its strategic response to last week’s acts of cowardice in Washington, DC and New York, NY. The flight crewmembers of Atlas Air – the largest heavy airlift supplier to the U.S. government – stand ready and united to do our part immediately to support our nation during this time of crisis.
To provide the necessary airborne relief services to our troops worldwide, the Atlas pilots’ leadership is putting our contract negotiations on hold for a brief period until this crisis has eased. Instead, our attention must be focused on what may very well be the most important and formidable job of our professional lives: moving heavy supplies (munitions, helicopters, trucks, and other goods) to the U.S. military abroad so our forces can have the equipment and materials they need to combat the evils of terrorism. Towards this end, the mediation scheduled to begin on September 24th has been postponed, but ALPA will be working with the company and the NMB to reconvene the negotiations once the impact of this crisis is more clearly understood.
Approximately 14 percent of our Atlas pilots are likely to be notified that they are being called for immediate active military duty in defense of our country. We salute our crewmembers – and all other professional pilots – who will be trading their airline uniforms for military stripes under Project ‘Infinite Justice,’ and who will be flying missions to protect freedom and democracy as we know it. The Atlas pilots are honored to stand with you in this all-important mission."
Atlas is the world’s third-largest cargo carrier and the world’s largest operator of Boeing 747 freighters. Atlas' pilots and flight engineers are represented by the ALPA, the world’s oldest and largest pilots union. ALPA represents more than 66,000 pilots at 47 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
Contact: John Caputo, Communications Chairman, 410-810-9023