View Full Version : ATLAS 'T STRIKE!

23rd May 2001, 03:37
Release #01.47
May 21, 2001

Strike Authorization Ballot Mailed to Atlas ALPA Pilots

WASHINGTON, DC -- The elected leaders of the Atlas Air pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) today announced the mailing of a strike-authorization ballot to their members.

“From the beginning of negotiations last April, we have been committed to reaching a successful conclusion of these negotiations without a strike. We remain committed to that goal and continue to be optimistic that it can be accomplished,” said Captain Gregory Amussen, chairman of the Atlas pilots' unit in ALPA.

“However, the affirmative result that we anticipate receiving in this strike-authorization ballot will give us additional leverage and flexibility as we pursue our objectives,” he said.

“The recent furlough of Atlas pilots in the U.S. – and the continued operation of the airlines foreign subsidiary in Stansted, England, using foreign crewmembers junior to most of the furloughed American crewmembers - raise additional concerns, making our work to expedite a negotiated agreement even more important. We intend to address these issues quickly and fully. Only a labor agreement can offer the stability and assurances that the pilots need in the face of these corporate developments,” Amussen said.

“Toward that end, we have petitioned both the NMB and Atlas management to schedule more meeting time in June so the parties may conclude these discussions, reach a settlement, and move on with the important task of building a strong and competitive international cargo company -- one that provides secure and rewarding careers for our members,” Amussen said. “Unfortunately, to date Atlas management has refused to schedule additional meeting time,” he said.

Amussen concluded, “Our decision to seek a strike authorization at this time not only responds to the groundswell of advocacy coming from our members, but also serves as an additional step that is both consistent and supportive of our goals.”

The National Mediation Board assigned a federal mediator to the contract negotiations in September 2000. The pilot group at Atlas has been in negotiations for a first contract since April 2000.

Atlas is the world’s third-largest cargo carrier and the world’s largest operator of Boeing 747 freighters. Last year the airline received the distinction of being ranked the world’s most financially fit carrier. Atlas' pilots and flight engineers are represented by the ALPA, the world’s oldest and largest pilots union. ALPA represents more than 59,000 pilots at 49 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.

23rd May 2001, 04:04
Go get em tiger !

23rd May 2001, 08:37
Reminds me of the time, many years ago in MIA, when the pilots of National Airlines went on strike in the summer (low season at that time for Florida) and saved good 'ole Bud Maytag a lot of grief. Of course, after awhile, the crew had families to feed so went back to work, just in time for the winter high season. ALPA scheduling at its best.
Now is a thin time for air cargo and what do the ATLAS pilots do? ......You get the picture.

Beaver Driver
23rd May 2001, 10:51
Just wondering...did your mother drop you on your head when you were a child, or is your constant negativity genetic? Perhaps you need to get out of the sun once in a while.

[This message has been edited by Beaver Driver (edited 23 May 2001).]

23rd May 2001, 11:22
Seriously now, would it not be better to attck ATLAS management when the aircargo market is booming rather than now? Seems to me that you'all would be in a much better position. One thing for sure, the ATLAS pilots do need a pay raise,considering the recent ATLAS profits.
'Ole Bud Maytag at National played ALPA like a Stradavareous for many years, I don't think they EVER realised.
And, look at the fiasco at Comair, but that is another story.

The Guvnor
23rd May 2001, 14:11
Let me get this straight. Contracts are being cancelled left, right and centre; cargo airlines (eg CargoLion) are going bust, and others are laying off staff (eg Polar, Atlas, etc).

And now the flight deck guys want to go on strike???

Is an IQ of less than room temperature a requisite for employment with Atlas Air - if not, it sure as heck seems like it!!

You lot should keep your heads down at a time like this, and not indulge in remarkably foolish and short term antics. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

23rd May 2001, 16:54
Let them walk, Guv...just more jobs for everyone else...

And I donīt mean crossing any line, I mean more flying for the other carriers....

23rd May 2001, 18:02
You guys are so uninformed that you really are embarrassing yourselves. I can't believe that you actually think that Atlas Air is doing poorly.

Let's see.... Record profits for the 1st quarter, worlds most financially fit airline. Our profit margins are upwards of around 25% consistently quarter after quarter. UPS, and FedEx don't even touch the double digits with their profits. Third and Fourth quarter block hours are sold out.

They furlough out of seniority! All the AACS guys are still working, not one of them were furloughed. They use the 105 guys that are furloughed as a bargaining chip at the negotiating table. They tried to negotiated them away, for concessions in the contract, and you can bet your life that they will try to negotiate them back. They get something for nothing. Classic negotiation tactics!

You are very wrong about our timing! Atlas couldn't be stronger! We couldn't have timed it better. If we wait any longer, our jobs will all be moved off shore and there wont be anything to come back to. Then what would it matter?

Now is the time, and it's a perfect time. Don't get me wrong, I don't want it to come to this, none of us do, all we want is a fair and secure labor agreement. One that makes someone else besides the crews accountable, and one that rewards all of our hard work and effort that has made Atlas Air what it is today! THE WORLDS MOST FINANCIALLY FIT AIRLINE.

Let's see, I don't see anyone bashing Delta or UAL for doing what we are doing, and they are some of the highest paid pilots in the world, Why is it that the Atlas Pilots, some of the lowest paid pilots in the world, are taking heat for exercising our rights?

This company isn't sick or hurting, it's alive and well! They can't afford to let it go to a strike, that's why our timing couldn't be better!

23rd May 2001, 19:52
British Atlas

caught in a trans-Atlantic dispute over air cargo services, Atlas Air believes it has solved the problem by becoming a British carrier, once removed.

The 747 freighter leasing specialist helped launch a new United Kingdom-based cargo airline, an operator whose only aircraft would be those provided by Atlas and whose only existing customer would also be provided by Atlas. And although the airline's name - Global Supply Systems, Ltd., lacks beauty, Atlas sees the company as an artful way to get around attempts to bar Atlas from providing freighters to British Airways.

"We believe this is a necessary step in light of changes that are being contemplated in the regulatory environment in the United Kingdom," said Vicki Foster, a spokesperson for New York-based Atlas.

British charter and leasing cargo airlines have been seeking government bars against Atlas service for BA because they say they are not allowed similar rights in the United States under U.S. law. They are already promising to challenge the Atlas maneuver. "Ownership is one thing, control is another," said a British cargo executive who asked to not be identified.

Atlas says it will own 49 percent of the startup, with British entrepreneur John Porter - part of the family that owns the U.K.'s Tesco grocery stores - holding 51 percent. Atlas will provide him the same two 747-400s it now flies for BA and that business will fall to the GSS business. That means the only real challenge in Porter's first venture into the airline business will certainly come in the world of regulations and international air trade relations.

Doesn't look to good for GSS either! Looks like the British Gov. is on to Atlas's Shell Game.

[This message has been edited by HEAVYWHALE (edited 23 May 2001).]

23rd May 2001, 20:16
The ways of the negaciators in these affairs sometimes seem incomprehensible/unpredictable (I refer to a former foreign minister being appointed arbitrator in the VC/Lufthansa dispute) but surely they have thought of what they are doing, and about the timing as well!
Times will never be perfect for asking a payrise... anyway, may you guys succeed!

All the best from Germany!

24th May 2001, 00:22
You are also dealing with the NRLB, a creaking, ancient organization that steers like a supertanker. You still have to get your strike vote counted, go into mediated talks, get a crap proposal from your mediator a la Comair (and ASA), vote it down decisively, then go back to the table, etc.... I predict a cooling off period right in the "sweet spot" of Oct-Dec.

Best of luck and the rest of the ACMI world is rooting for you!

Kep Ten Jim
24th May 2001, 00:47
Don't y'all just love it when Beaver and Heavywhale get so fired up about Atlas topics? They are so intense, so...so united - so informed! Thanks guys - keep it up - you remind me of my schooldays.

Beaver Driver
24th May 2001, 00:55
Thanks for the words of encouragement. You may be right about the NMB. However the mediator assigned to us has, at times, been VERY pissed off at Atlas' predatory and illegal antics towards its pilot group, so we hope to get a release soon.

The time could actually not be better. GSS is not yet up and running and may not get off the ground. AACS is a huge failure and a very big money drain on Atlas, and there is still the court case pending on it. The UK DETR will not renew the BA lease and the 15 Atlas guys that are left in AACS that bid over there will soon lose their right to work in the UK. And, as you state, we are coming in to the 4th quarter.

The Atlas pilots all share the same goals; We want Atlas to be the best freight operator it can be. Atlas managers do not share this goal, in fact all they want is to line their pockets. This can easily be seen by investigating the salary they are paid (public info). Not one of them took even a 1% pay cut. They did however, find it very easy to cut 105 pilot jobs in a quarter when Atlas earned 20% profit. Most airliines would kill for a profit margin like that. How can management claim that Atlas is in trouble and still continue to pay themselves multi-million dollar salaries.

Mr. Chowdry would never have allowed his company to get into this situation in the first place. It is a sorry indictment of the Lorenzo trained clones that currently run Atlas. Their lack of business acumen is very evident to the pilots, to the customers, to the mediator, and to the rest of the world. (maybe even to you Kep....if you had a clue what the discussion is about....or maybe you are one of the AACS that is going to lose his job soon, something that all of us warned you about many months ago)

[This message has been edited by Beaver Driver (edited 24 May 2001).]

24th May 2001, 06:05

Minor detail... US airlines are subject to the NMB (National Mediation Board), not the NLRB (National Labor Realtions Board).

25th May 2001, 10:49
Not a real good idea boys and girls, the timing coulddn't be worse..right idea, wrong time like the edsel and the electra...timing is everything in this game...give it some hard thought

26th May 2001, 06:16
I heard a rumor that Atlas is considering selling 15 747-200 and two MX hangers in MIA to UPS. It was on some business wire. Any truth to this?

26th May 2001, 06:58
I searched over a dozen aviation related sites and found nothing about Atlas and UPS. It wouldn't suprise me though.With the current level of bitterness between Atlas management and their crews, nothing would suprise me.

Beaver Driver
26th May 2001, 08:50
Atlas actually owns no hangers here in MIA that I know of. They are currently constructing one that can be seen on the corner of 36 ave and Lejune (or close to that intersection) but other than the operations spaces (which they lease), and the training center (which, I believe they also lease), I don't think they own any property in MIA.

There are still very rampant rumors of them buying twins, and maybe selling some 74's to do that, but who knows. Management seems to be a master at keeping their cards close to thier chest, as evidenced by the Volga Denieper announcement earlier this week. Can you say AACS Moscow!!! Long live GSS/AACS ....NOT!!!

Remember the 105!!!

[This message has been edited by Beaver Driver (edited 26 May 2001).]

29th May 2001, 07:04
This would never happen if STREAMLINE was Chief Pilot!

29th May 2001, 17:05

Just did a leg out here in the pac-rim with an AACS co-pilot deadheading in the back about to START HER IOE a WEEK after 107 of my co-workers, some with 5 years with this company were given the boot,
now you tell me when the right effin' time to do this is!!!....GRRRR.

Over and out.

[This message has been edited by LimeyAK (edited 29 May 2001).]

29th May 2001, 19:15
Yup, it sucks, you guys are no doubt getting screwed 5 ways to sunday, but very possibly a strike AT THIS PRESENT TIME just might be what the new folks in the kremlin are setting you up to do...surely the same AACS folks who are screwing you presently will now be in great demand, so stay where you belong, and use the MEL to it's greeatest possible extent...keep the mx logs full, and the EGT's high...let them find out how expensive pissed-off pilots really are....pls guys and gals step back and take a CLOSE look before you leap...

The Guvnor
30th May 2001, 11:38
Mapshift - I hope (a) Atlas management don't read this site; and (b) they can't identify you.

Remember what happened to the EAL/CAL guys that publicly went round saying exactly what you've just said...

30th May 2001, 13:21
Don't work there, so why care? Anyway how do you win a fight when you run away from it?

31st May 2001, 01:10

Who is streamline ?

Smooth Trimmer

The Guvnor
31st May 2001, 01:35
Easy ... "He who fights and runs away; lives to fight another day!" :) :) :)

Beaver Driver
31st May 2001, 08:04

Is THAT why you left Africa?! I guess your attitude shows the true colors of management everywhere. Fight the workers (pilots) until you can't do it anymore, then rape the company and open it under another name somewhere else. Sounds like LorenzoIchanBergtRobertson management 101. (or should I say TWA, Eastern, Mark Air, and...... Africargo, or City connexion or....)

[This message has been edited by Beaver Driver (edited 31 May 2001).]

The Guvnor
31st May 2001, 10:39
Beav - we never had any labour problems at any of the companies I ran - probably because they were small enough that we could sort out any differences over the weekly braai. (BBQ to you Yanks).

You Atlas guys are definately special people, though. Not only do you steal EU pilots' jobs, but you start to cry about it when the balance is redressed through AACS/GSS; you renege on your "no unionisation in exchange for profit share" deal - then you cry when management cancels the profit share when you try and unionise; and finally, in the middle of a serious economic downturn/recession that is causing cargo operators to lay people off left right and centre, you guys want to go on strike for higher pay!! :rolleyes: http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/tosser1.gif :rolleyes:

Do you know what a lemming is? It describes perfectly the average Atlas pilot...

31st May 2001, 15:39
If you Atlas guys believe in your cause so much, and are convinced you are right, why don't you call management's bluff and walk.

Whatever, quit whining about it. Or aren't your [email protected]@cks as big as those of COMAIR pilots?

Jennifer Lopez
31st May 2001, 16:05
Hey Stupid, looks like they just started the process...

31st May 2001, 17:39
Down in 3 green

Are you really that ignorant? They are moving toward a strike in the fast manner possible under US law! Believe me they would be on strike already if it wouldn't land em in jail.


31st May 2001, 18:06
I'm willing to bet that the Atlas pilots will strike at the earliest legal opportunity, providing management doesn't have an epiphany. I don't think Atlas management can count on a Bush PEB to stop the strike, like will probably happen with a probable strike by American F/A's.

1st Jun 2001, 15:28
Hey there Gov....then get your old rusty tristars and bid the BA contract yourself...it's funny the American company gets the contract, foots the bill for the fleet and ops costs, HIRES U.K. pilots, then you accuse them of "job stealing"...what's wrong with this picture...why dont all the EU pilots stay home and leave CX, GF, EK jobs to the people they belong to....don't get protectionist there gov, because especially one from your island country has no room to talk "sprechen se deutsch?"

Beaver Driver
1st Jun 2001, 16:11
I've been trying to figure out if gov was a UK resident stealing African jobs, or a resident of SA stealing UK jobs. I am sure that he never "RAN" a real airline, although it appears he had a minor manager position at City Connexion. The rest were all like Caledonian Wings, virtual airlines. He sure is good at blaming others for his troubles though. Next it will be Delta mechanics fault that his Tri-stars won't ever fly. I heard the mechanics let them get too old. :) :)


[This message has been edited by Beaver Driver (edited 01 June 2001).]

2nd Jun 2001, 02:52
Actually the only reason some folks ever could afford tritanics was the fact that the RB-211-524 series engine although high-tech, was a mx nightmare..unfortunately bolted to another high-tech mx nightmare of an airframe, but beyond any reasonable doubt, the most enjoyable 5000 HRS+ i EVER SPENT IN AN AIRPLANE...so let's blame it on the Brits...or the accountants that "amortized" the cost of writing them all off..mmmmmmmmm

Beaver Driver
22nd Jun 2001, 01:02
WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire/ --

The Master Executive Council of Atlas Air -- the highest governing body for a pilot group in the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) -- announced today that 98.34 percent of their members authorized the MEC to call a strike in the event negotiations with management did not result in a satisfactory contract. Of the pilots eligible to vote, 95 percent participated in the balloting process (601 of 634 pilots).
The strike vote results were announced this afternoon by John Caputo, chairman of the Atlas pilots' Communications and Strike Preparedness committees, at the pilots' strike command center in Washington, DC. “Our crewmembers are unified in the desire to achieve a new contract that benefits both our professional quality of life and the company's financial bottom line,'' said Caputo. “And we remain committed to furthering the legacy of our late president/CEO and visionary Michael Chowdry to make Atlas one of the strongest and most financially viable international cargo airlines in the world. However, while we remain optimistic that our goals at the negotiating table can be achieved without a strike, our strike preparations are complete and we stand ready to support our membership if it becomes necessary.''

“From the onset of the negotiations process, the Atlas pilots have been absolutely committed to the goal of achieving a fair labor contract in a timely manner,'' said Philippe Fisher, chairman of the Atlas pilots' Negotiating Committee. “Our dedication to reaching this goal without any interruption in service to Atlas or its customers is unwavering. However, if a satisfactory agreement is not reached, our members' overwhelming and nearly unanimous vote in favor of strike authorization shows the Atlas pilots' are unified and will take the necessary steps to achieve this goal.''

“The Atlas pilots' leadership is immensely proud of the solidarity demonstrated by our crewmembers in this strike vote,'' said Capt. Gregory Amussen, chairman of the Atlas pilots' unit in ALPA. “In the light of current events, we look forward to the company presenting its economic and job security proposals at the negotiating session scheduled in Washington, DC, during the week beginning on June 25. The Atlas pilots stand fully committed to rapidly concluding and implementing a mutually beneficial collective bargaining agreement.''

Atlas' approximately 750 pilots and professional flight engineers have been trying to negotiate their first ALPA contract with management since April 2000. Negotiations are now being conducted under the auspices of the National Mediation Board, which may release the parties into a 30-day “cooling-off'' period once an impasse is declared.

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, ALPA is the world's oldest and largest pilots union, representing 66,000 members at 47 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org (http://www.alpa.org) .
SOURCE: Air Lines Pilots Association, International

22nd Jun 2001, 05:51
Hey BeaverDriver I just happen to be one of the 107 and I voted to STRIKE. However I could not help wondering, if we have 750 pilots--How come only 601 of 634 voted. Who are the other 136, are they all part of the Great and Glorius AAMT or what???? http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/confused.gif

El Guapo 747
(Wow that is a BIG ONE!!)

Ignition Override
22nd Jun 2001, 08:21
Just a question. Could the furlough of so many Atlas pilots be in order to create company "hostages"? This happened at FEDEX and many other companies during heated negotiations. Sometimes layoffs are more than just layoffs: possibly hitting two birds with one stone?

The more financial losses a company can claim and the more human hostages it has (not to mention pilots' wives and children's education), the better position it seems to be in, IF at the bargaining table.

Good luck to ATLAS crewmembers.

[This message has been edited by Ignition Override (edited 22 June 2001).]

Beaver Driver
22nd Jun 2001, 09:54
At last count we had less than that. Of course if the source was Atlas then they probably included the losers at AACS. That would be my bet.

Mary Poppins
22nd Jun 2001, 12:58
Beaver Driver,

You call me a loser yet you request that I respect your picket line. Thankfully, many of your mainline colleagues that I meet on the line find your attitude counter-productive. As many of them continually say, why get the AACS guys off-side when we really want their support in this struggle against management. Like the referee says, play the ball not the man.....

Beaver Driver
22nd Jun 2001, 18:01
Sorry. I don't think that any of you are interested in supporting us. Just as I don't think BALPA is interested in you guys any more. Can you honestly tell me you would allow yourself to be fired rather than fly struck cargo? Atlas has won your hearts and minds.....at least until they furlough you and lay off all your ground staff; but that will be a year or so.....we'll see.

The situation has changed; GSS, the DETR, and the BA retiree flying club have thrown a new wrinkle in to the works. I used to hope for your support, but meeting many of your fellow pilots here in MIA has convinced me that this idea is fruitless. Maybe YOU care about us and our struggle, but I'll tell you that the 10 I have met down here could care less about Atlas mainline pilots. In fact they are really interested in taking our jobs and flying when we strike. Guess they figure it will be the only way to get some of that flight time away from your chief pilot.

22nd Jun 2001, 20:26
I don't get this, fist the "AAMT lays off 107 crew members then 200 ground staffers". All this in the name of a poor economy. Yet the company has not reported 1 penny lost!!


Has anyone in AAMT remembered, the 307 employees and family members. These people supported Atlas Air througout 13 consective record profit quaters. They are still in the unemployment lines; Whats wrong with this picture?