Preliminary injunction issued in ABX Air labour dispute


Air Transport Services Group says US District Court Judge Timothy S. Black issued a order yesterday granting ABX Air’s motion to convert a temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction.

This it says prohibits work stoppages and other service interruptions of ATSG’s cargo airline subsidiary ABX Air, by ABX Air’s pilot employees represented by the Airline Professionals Association of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 1224.

On 23 November, Judge Black determined disagreements between ABX Air and its pilots over work scheduling issues constitute a “minor dispute” and must be resolved under terms of the labour agreement between ABX Air and the union.

The preliminary injunction effectively extends that order pending an as yet unscheduled adjudication on a permanent injunction.

Around 250 ABX Air pilots went on strike on 22 November as it said there was not enough pilots.

Long-time ABX Air pilot, Rick Ziebarth tells Air Cargo Week in response to Wednesday’s decision: “For well more than a year, ABX Air has been severely understaffed, and it is taking a toll on our families, our bodies, our customers and our airline.

“We have a responsibility as pilots to make sure our customers are getting the high-quality service they expect, and we went on strike because ATSG and ABX Air executives refuse to make sure we have enough pilots to deliver for our customers like DHL and Amazon.

“We also have a responsibility to our members to ensure that ABX honors its contract and commitments to us. ABX’s only answer to the staffing shortage that it has long known would affect operations is to ignore its contract and staffing commitments to pilots.

“That is no way to run an airline or treat pilots and customers, and it is no solution. ABX is trying to put a band-aid on a crisis that will only get worse, and customers should be gravely concerned about how it will impact them.

“We disagree with the judge’s decision and have filed an expedited appeal to stand up for the long-term success of our airline.”