August 12, 2005
NMB Issues Proffer of Arbitration to Polar Air Cargo Crewmembers
WASHINGTON -- After more than two years of bargaining, the National Mediation Board (NMB) in Washington D.C. today issued a proffer of arbitration to the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and Polar Air Cargo, a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc.
The NMB’s proffer signals the start of the final phase of bargaining for a new Polar crewmember collective bargaining agreement at the cargo airline, a major scheduled carrier flying a fleet of twelve 747 freighter aircraft on worldwide routes. Should either party reject this proffer of arbitration, the NMB will then set a date for the beginning of a 30-day countdown for release of either party into economic self-help, which could include a crewmember strike.
Last month, the Polar crewmembers overwhelmingly voted to authorize their Master Executive Council (MEC) to authorize a lawful strike at the end of any such 30-day countdown if negotiations remain unsuccessful. The Polar MEC will meet this coming Monday to discuss this development and announce its response.
Capt. Bobb Henderson, chairman of the Polar Air Cargo unit of ALPA commented on today’s events saying, “Our crewmember’s goal is not a confrontation, but a fair and equitable contract. We sincerely hope that the deadline imposed by a final cooling-off period will help us finally achieve this result.”
Representing more than 64,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union. Visit the ALPA website at: http://www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Ron Lovas (703) 481-4468