Release #04.028
July 8, 2004

DHL Ruling: Judge Dismisses Labor Law and Pilot Rights

Statement by Duane E. Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) on a decision by Judge Joseph Gontram, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge, finding ALPA guilty of an unfair labor practice in violation of the National Labor Relations Act when ALPA worked to enforce a collective bargaining agreement with ASTAR Air Cargo (formerly DHL Airlines) and DHL Holdings, Inc. The decision is subject to NLRB review and thereafter by a U.S. Court of Appeals.

"Judge Gontram got it flat wrong; this dispute clearly falls under the Railway Labor Act and the National Labor Relations Act does not even apply.

"ALPA was working to enforce a collective bargaining agreement common throughout the airline industry that defines the jobs that belong to the pilots of an airline.

"The fact is that DHL signed a clear agreement that it would use its ASTAR pilots to transport its freight. DHL broke this agreement and then refused to participate in grievance arbitration to which it had also agreed. It appears that Judge Gontram completely misunderstood the nature of the dispute and the facts at hand.

"We are shocked that Judge Gontram ignored the 75-year old Railway Labor Act, one of this country’s bedrock labor laws. Furthermore, we also believe that even if the National Labor Relations Act did apply, the Judge misapplied that law as well.

"ALPA used normal grievance procedures to enforce a job security provision in a collective bargaining agreement.

"ALPA will spare no resource in pursuing all avenues to protect U.S pilot jobs and reverse this serious miscarriage of justice."

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 64,000 pilots at 42 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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ALPA Contact: Miles Wiley, 703-481-4459