Air, Business, Freight News

Grinch trying to steal Christmas

[ December 1, 2016   //   ]

About 250 pilots for ABX Air went on strike early last week in a dispute over working conditions and time off. The strike affected dozens of flights and more than 1 million pounds of cargo. They are picketing ABX’s headquarters in Wilmington, Ohio and DHL’s North America hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
ABX’s major customers are DHL and Amazon.
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Cincinnati, Ohio, ordered those pilots to go back to work so that holiday shoppers can expect their packages to be delivered on time for the holidays.
For nearly two years, ABX Air, which is owned by Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), has been significantly understaffed, resulting in pilots continuously being forced to work “emergency” assignments on their off time.
The Airline Professionals Associations released this statement: “The situation has risen to the level where the company is illegally violating its contract with pilots by not allowing them to take contractually obligated compensatory time for the forced extra work. Throughout the year and now, especially during the 4th quarter, ABX has been forcing its pilots to fly flights because it had intentionally short-staffed its operations in the face of increased customer demands.”
“ABX refused to recall pilots who had been furloughed as a result of DHL’s termination of North American operations several years ago. ABX refused to recall those pilots because it did not want to bring them back and pay them at the top of the pilots’ wage scale, as required by the pilots’ contract. ABX instead extinguished those pilots’ recall rights earlier this year and then tried to hire new pilots who would be paid at the bottom of the pilots’ wage scale. ABX management has acknowledged that its penny-wise, pound foolish scheme backfired, as it waited too long to start hiring additional pilots and actually hired too few pilots. Since then, ABX has been forcing its pilots to fly additional trips and disrupting their schedules in an effort to climb out from the staffing hole it dug for itself.”