Atlas Air gains injunction against IBT but union warns problems remain

Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F
Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F

Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo’s request for an injunction against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) to stop its “illegal work slowdown” has been granted, but the union warn this will not solve problems.

The subsidiaries of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings requested the injunction accusing the IBT of engaging an in “unlawful, concerted work slowdown to gain advantage in pilot contract negotiations”, saying the “illegal work slowdown and service interruptions” were causing significant flight delays and harm to the company.

The US District Court for the District of Columbia has required the IBT to meet obligations under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) and stop the slowdown.

The union have also been ordered to not interfere with Atlas’ operations or “any other concerted refusal to perform normal pilot operations consistent with the status quo, in violation of the RLA”.

The decision has been condemned by the IBT, with Teamsters Local 1224 president and long-time Atlas Air pilot, Captain Daniel Wells saying they disagree with the judge’s decision and will be appealing.

He says: “Pilots remain dedicated to shining a light on the serious staffing and operational challenges at the AAWW airlines because we owe it to our customers.”

“After years of chronic mismanagement and intensifying pilot shortages, the fundamentals of our operation are crumbling every day, putting the success of our carriers and commitments to customers like DHL and Amazon at risk.”

Wells adds: “We will comply with the judge’s orders, but it won’t solve the immense problems we face, and we are committed as ever to getting our airlines back on track.”

Atlas says it will continue negotiating with the IBT for a joint contract for Atlas and Southern Air crewmembers, adding: “The Company remains committed to completing the bargaining process in a timely manner and in the best interests of all parties.”