Air Transport International pilots support strike authorization

Date: Thursday, November 16th, 2023
Source: Aircargo News

Air Transport International (ATI) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have voted in favor of a strike authorization in a dispute over their employment contracts.

The ALPA said in a November 14 press release that more than 98% of members participated in the vote, and 99.7% of voters chose to authorize their union leaders to call a strike.

While the vote gives union leaders the option to call a strike in the future, there are no current plans for a strike to take place.

The Wilmington, Ohio-based, Air Transport Services Group-owned (ATSG) cargo airline is used by Amazon Air and DHL amongst other companies.

The pilots have now been in negotiations with ATI management for three and a half years.

“Today, ATI pilots sent a clear, unified message to management that we are willing to go the distance to secure a new contract,” said Mike Sterling, chair of the ATI ALPA Master Executive Council.

“Now is the time for ATI to deliver a new contract that reflects the value we bring to the airline as highly skilled professionals. Our goal is to reach an agreement, not to strike. The ball is in management’s court, and it’s time for them to get serious at the bargaining table and invest in our pilots.”

Before a strike can take place, the National Mediation Board must first decide that additional mediation efforts would not be productive and offer the parties an opportunity to arbitrate the contract dispute.

If either side declines the arbitration, both parties enter a 30-day “cooling off” period, after which the parties can engage in self-help — a strike by the union or a lockout by management.

“Today’s vote demonstrated ATI pilots’ collective resolve for achieving a contract that will allow ATI to be a career destination for professional pilots,” said Sterling.

Last month, union leaders representing the ATI pilots approved strike authorization.

In the year-to-date, 220 pilots have left ATI—35% of the airline’s pilots, said the ALPA.

[Read from the original source.]