NMB Releases Atlas Air Crewmembers into 30-Day Cooling-Off Period

WASHINGTON—-Crewmembers of Atlas Air, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., rejected a proffer of arbitration by the National Mediation Board (NMB) this week, prompting the NMB to release both crewmembers and management from negotiations, and triggering the mandatory 30-day countdown to a potential strike at 12:01 a.m. on June 28.

Capt. David Bourne, chairman of the Atlas Air pilots’ unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), said, “Atlas Air crewmembers are prepared to stand together to achieve a long-overdue and fair contract that recognizes the special compensation and work schedule needs of our crewmembers, as well as providing us with job security and financial protections for the future. From day one of these negotiations, we’ve wanted to achieve a fair contract that would both recognize crewmembers’ contributions, and maintain the profitability and viability that will enable Atlas to grow and prosper. We cannot understand why, at a time when both parties had gotten to a point on issues that might have been resolved in a few short days of discussions, management adopted a take it or leave it attitude. Our differences on compensation and work schedules could have been resolved quickly to get us the contract we deserve. I want to be clear on this: We were at the table and ready to continue negotiations. The NMB was ready to help mediate. But Atlas management left the table and got us to where we are today. We will find out shortly if management shares our goal of a negotiated settlement and a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Atlas Air crewmembers have been trying unsuccessfully to negotiate a new contract with management for the past two years. After the 30-day cooling-off period expires, crewmembers could strike. Contract talks could resume during the cooling-off period in a last-ditch effort to reach a tentative agreement.

Atlas Air is a U.S.-certificated air carrier operating a fleet of Boeing 747 freighters under contracts that provide for the aircraft, crews, maintenance, and insurance to many of the world’s leading international carriers.

Representing more than 62,000 pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilots union. Visit the ALPA website at: http://www.alpa.org.