September 16, 2005
Polar Air Cargo Crewmembers Launch Strike
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The following statement was issued today by Captain Bobb Henderson, chairman of the Polar Air Cargo crewmembers' Master Executive Council, a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).
"As of 1:34 a.m. EDT, on September 16th, Polar Air Cargo crewmembers are on strike. We have negotiated with our management for more than two years to achieve a fair contract that recognizes our real worth to this company. Polar crewmembers have numerous years of flight experience and advanced education, and are simply not fairly compensated for an airline of this size, sophistication, and profitability. In response to our concerns about compensation, our management has generally offered nothing more than numbers that were well below what our peers are paid. They have continued to negotiate using smoke, mirrors, and sleight of hand. We are saddened that management has refused to address our issues at the negotiating table prior to our strike deadline, leaving us with no choice but to walk away from our livelihoods to get the contract that we deserve. We have always been prepared to settle but management has forced our hand to exercise our self-help option.
We feel that our proposal is fair and reasonable and we remain fully committed to working with management to resolve this situation. After all, we are professional airline pilots, and we want to be flying, not walking the picket line.”
Polar Air Cargo crewmembers have been in contract negotiations since February 2003 and in mediation since June of that year.
Polar Air Cargo is a U.S. certificated all cargo air carrier operating a fleet of 12 Boeing 747 freighters in a global scheduled-service network that serves major trade lanes around the world. Polar is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (OTC: AAWW.PK), based in Purchase, NY.
See also: FedEx Pilots Pledge Support to Polar Air Cargo Crewmembers in Event of Polar Strike.
Formed in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing 64,000 airline pilots at 41 carriers in the United States and Canada. Its Web site is at http://www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Ron Lovas, (703) 481-4468