Release #05.032
August 25, 2005

ALPA to Polar Air Cargo: Stop the Bad-Faith Bargaining

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a terse letter to the president and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWH), the president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l. (ALPA) charged that AAWH subsidiary Polar Air Cargo is bargaining in bad faith and demanded that the airline stop its violations of federal labor law.

ALPA stated that the company’s transfer of a Polar aircraft to Atlas Air Inc., another AAWH subsidiary, and termination of the 24 crewmembers who operated the aircraft violates the status quo that was imposed after the National Mediation Board released the parties, starting the 30-day “cooling off” period before either side can take economic self-help action such as a strike or lockout. The company’s action is seen by ALPA as retaliation for ALPA’s obtaining from the NMB a release from mediated bargaining, over the company’s objections.

The letter was sent Aug. 23 by ALPA President Duane Woerth to Jeffrey Erickson, president and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings in Purchase, N.Y.

According to ALPA, the company also is violating federal labor law by having management officials engage in direct bargaining with rank-and-file members. Management is required to conduct all bargaining with ALPA’s elected union representatives.

“If you comply with this request, the parties can look forward to the resumption of bargaining and the possible peaceful conclusion of this matter,” Woerth said. “We believe that it is both parties’ interests that neither causes the dispute to escalate out of control.”

The Polar crewmembers began negotiations with management in February 2003, when their most current contract became amendable under the terms of the Railway Labor Act. Negotiations have been conducted with the assistance of the National Mediation Board since July 2003. ALPA represents 64,000 airline pilots at 41 carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Its website is

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ALPA CONTACT: Ron Lovas 703-481-4468