Court rules in favour of Atlas Air and against union

Atlas Air signs MoU with Sharp Technics K

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has succeeded in its legal dispute with the pilot union, ordering them to negotiate a new deal.

The decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholds a 13 March 2018 decision by the Southern District Court of New York compelling the union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to arbitrate whether the merger provisions in Atlas Air and Southern Air’s collective bargaining agreement apply to the bargaining process.

The decision yesterday (Thursday 21 November), and two binding decisions by arbitrators in favour of the airlines in the summer, say the union must engage in the collective bargaining agreements expedited and defined process to achieve a deal.

A separate labour-related ruling in July 2019 by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously affirmed a federal district court ruling in November 2017 ordering the union to stop the work slowdown in violation of the Railway Labor Act.

The three-judge panel ruled the union must stop “improper activities” such as excessive sick calls on short notice or refusing to volunteer for open time.

William Flynn, chairman and chief executive officer of Atlas Air Worldwide says it is time for the union to honour obligations under the collective bargaining agreements and binding decisions.

He says: “The union has an obligation to produce an integrated seniority list and engage in direct bargaining for a defined and limited period of time. In ongoing negotiations, the union has yet to provide us with a comprehensive economic proposal covering pay and benefits for evaluation. We remain committed to working collaboratively with union leaders to efficiently negotiate and complete the contract.”