Will Waters | 04 DEC
Court tells IBT to prevent and refrain from interference with the company’s operations or any other concerted refusal to perform normal pilot operations
Unions representing pilots of key international air freight providers Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo have ordered by a US court to stop what Atlas claims is an “illegal and intentional work slowdown” that has been affecting the airlines and their customers.
Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, subsidiaries of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, last week learned that their request for a preliminary injunction against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airline Division, and Local Union No. 1224 (collectively, IBT) has been granted.
The decision by the US District Court for the District of Columbia “requires the IBT to meet its obligations under the Railway Labor Act (“RLA”) and stop its illegal and intentional work slowdown”, Atlas said. “In granting the company’s request, the court further ordered the IBT to take affirmative action to prevent and to refrain from continuing any form of interference with the company’s operations or any other concerted refusal to perform normal pilot operations consistent with the status quo, in violation of the RLA,” the US-based airline group added
“The company continues to negotiate with the IBT for a joint contract for Atlas and Southern Air crewmembers in connection with the pending merger. The Company remains committed to completing the bargaining process in a timely manner and in the best interests of all parties.”
As reported in Lloyd’s Loading List, in September the airlines sought an injunction via a court in Washington DC to stop an “illegal work slowdown” and other union tactics that it claims are “causing significant flight delays and harm” to the company, in what is a long-running dispute with pilots and their union representatives.
In its filing, the company – the world’s largest outsourced air freight capacity provider − states that the IBT is “engaging in an unlawful, concerted work slowdown to gain advantage in pilot contract negotiations currently underway with the IBT”.
The company claimed the “illegal work slowdown and service interruptions are causing significant flight delays and harm to the company and its valued customers. Atlas plays a major role in the global supply chain on a daily basis by transporting tonnes of time-sensitive cargo for customers.”
Customers include Panalpina, DHL Global Forwarding, DHL Express, Amazon, Cathay Pacific, FedEx, NCA, Etihad, Qantas, and multiple other cargo airlines, as well as the US military.
Atlas stressed that it “values the contributions of its pilots”, noting that the company “will continue to negotiate with the IBT for a joint contract for Atlas and Southern Air crewmembers in connection with the pending merger. The company remains committed to completing the bargaining process in a timely manner and in the best interests of all parties.”
Atlas Air Worldwide is a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services. It is the parent company of Atlas Air, Inc., Southern Air Holdings, Inc. and Titan Aviation Holdings, and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide.
Its subsidiary companies operate the world’s largest fleet of 747 freighter aircraft and provide customers with Boeing 747, 777, 767, 757 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international operations.