Release #08.DHL8
July 29, 2008

ALPA Files Suit against DHL on Behalf of ASTAR Pilots
Breach of contract and fraudulent inducement highlight suit as UPS tries to take flying from ASTAR

Wilmington, OH—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), has filed a lawsuit against DHL Holdings USA (DHL), suing the company for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement. The suit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Clinton, Ohio, where DHL maintains its major sorting center.

ALPA alleges that, by proposing to shift its North American flying work away from ASTAR Air Cargo (ASTAR) to UPS, DHL is breaching job security commitments it agreed to provide to ASTAR pilots in return for various benefits it received under the current labor contract. The suit also alleges that DHL fraudulently induced ALPA to dismiss lawsuits against DHL by promising to underwrite the job security commitments, even as it engaged in secret discussions with UPS on an agreement that was inconsistent with those commitments.

The Association is asking the court to enjoin DHL from moving its flying work from ASTAR to UPS. ALPA is also asking the court to award the ASTAR pilots compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.

“We’re going to fight this agreement in every way we can—including in the courts,” said Capt. John Prater, president of ALPA. “Ten thousand hard-working Americans are depending on us to help save their jobs and communities. DHL has let them down—we won’t.”

The proposed agreement between DHL and UPS would hand all of DHL’s air cargo operations over to UPS. It would effectively eliminate 10,000 jobs in and around Wilmington, Ohio, where DHL currently operates its major sorting center. It would also surrender a substantial portion of the expedited-delivery market in North America to one of DHL’s chief competitors.

ASTAR pilots every night carry roughly 50% of the weight out of Wilmington, Ohio, for DHL, the world’s largest international air express network. DHL is a 49% owner of ASTAR and is represented on ASTAR’s Board of Directors. ASTAR (formerly DHL Airways) has been providing air cargo services to DHL for almost 30 years.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union and represents 55,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 500 pilots at ASTAR. Visit the ALPA website at

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Captain Pat Walsh—(508) 776-2819
Arthur Luby—(571) 236-3523
Jen Lofquist—(703) 481-4459