October 23, 2008
ALPA Calls Upon Congress to Hold New Hearings on DHL-UPS Deal
UPS website to lure DHL customers contradicts UPS testimony at congressional hearings
WASHINGTON — ASTAR pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association Int’l (ALPA), today called on Congress to further investigate the DHL-UPS merger in light of the latest attempt by UPS to openly raid DHL’s customer base through its corporate website: http://switchnow.ups.com. The site explains how DHL customers can ensure that their packages will get to their destinations by switching now to UPS, a pitch that is especially effective in light of the fact that DHL will now depend on UPS for transportation and processing of all of its products.
“This website reveals the true nature of this deal, which was never designed to provide better package delivery services to the North American public,” said Capt. John Prater, president of ALPA. “Congress needs to get to the bottom of this deal, which is bad for the already struggling U.S. economy.”
The statements on this website run contrary to UPS and DHL’s testimony before Congress during a September 16 hearing before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where UPS and DHL executives reassured members of Congress that this deal was not a merger and did not violate antitrust laws. UPS further claimed that individual salespeople, acting independently of the company, held the responsibility for any effort to lure customers away from DHL.
When Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R–OH) questioned Burt Wallace, UPS president of corporate transportation, about the guerrilla marketing tactics, he presented a marketing card to Wallace, asking, “Have you seen it before?” On the congressional record, Wallace denied having seen the card and suggested it was the work of “local people who are always trying to compete and grow our business.” He emphatically denied that UPS authorized this tactic, and DHL CEO John Mullen asserted that his company would continue to compete aggressively against UPS (see Congressional video).
The agreement between DHL and UPS would give all of DHL’s North American cargo air transport operations to UPS, one of its main competitors, effectively closing two companies with a substantial presence in Ohio: ASTAR Air Cargo and Airborne Express (ABX). Should this deal go through, 10,000 American workers will lose their jobs, and entire communities in southern Ohio will be devastated.
This deal is taking place even though DHL has a 49% stake in ASTAR and paid over $1 billion in 2005 to acquire Airborne and its air cargo facility and airport in Wilmington, where most of DHL’s freight is sorted and shipped to North American destinations. More information can be found at www.stopDHL-UPS.com.
In a related global effort to stop the merger, the Global Cargo Pilots Alliance (GCPA), a coalition of pilot unions and associations that provide airline service within the DHL worldwide network, condemned the potential deal between DHL-UPS and gave it little chance for success. This issue, along with other important outsourcing concerns, was discussed at a two-day summit of GCPA members held in Frankfurt, Germany, October 27 and 28. (Click here to read the press release.)
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union and represents 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 500 pilots at ASTAR Air Cargo, formerly DHL Airways. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.
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Captain Pat Walsh, chair of the ASTAR unit of ALPA—(508) 776-2819
Arthur Luby—(571) 236-3523
Jen Lofquist—(703) 481-4459