October 6, 2005
Polar Air Cargo ALPA Crewmembers Ratify New Contract
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Pilots and professional flight engineers of Polar Air Cargo, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), ratified an 18-month contract extension that includes improvements in compensation and retirement plans over the life of the agreement. Of the 299 crewmembers eligible to vote, 93 percent participated, with 76 percent casting ballots in favor of the agreement. Improvements included a 10.5 percent pay increase, longevity step pay increases, a 4 percent lump sum payment in 2006, and a substantial increase in their 401(k) matches.
“I want to thank all the Polar crewmembers for their loyalty and support,” said Captain Bobb Henderson, chairman of the Polar Air crewmembers' Master Executive Council. “During our strike, we had absolute 100 percent solidarity. None of our members ever broke ranks, and the strength and resolve of our crewmembers was second to none.”
Henderson added: “We did not give up any of our work rules, health benefits, or quality-of-life issues--all of which management targeted during our negotiations. We kept all these items and were still able to get modest financial improvements.”
Captain Robin Hair, chairman of the crewmembers’ Negotiating Committee, added, “Even though our compensation remains below that of our peers in the industry, this agreement is a substantial step forward, and our acceptance of it ends the downward trend our company has had.”
Polar Air Cargo crewmembers have been negotiating with their management for over two years. In August, the union rejected a proffer of arbitration by the National Mediation Board, which triggered a 30-day countdown to self-help that ended on August 16th. Polar crewmembers went on strike that night and were on strike for 20 days.
Polar Air Cargo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc (OTC:AAWW.PK). and is a U.S. certificated air carrier. Polar Air Cargo operates a fleet of Boeing 747 freighters in a global scheduled-service network that serves major trade lanes around the world.
ALPA is the world's oldest and largest pilots union, representing 64,000 members at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA Contact: Ron Lovas (703) 481-4468