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Airline Division News, Week Ending October 26, 2019

Growing in Numbers, a new Local is created for Atlas Air Pilots  

At the request of the pilots at Atlas Air, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and the Teamsters General Executive Board has approved the formation of Teamsters Local 2750, a newly created local union dedicated to the pilots.

There are about 2,000 pilots who will be members of the union which will be headquartered in Ohio.

“We’re excited about this great opportunity, which is part of our natural journey through unionism as we grow in numbers,” said Bob Kirchner, chairman of the pilots’ seven-member Executive Council and an Atlas Air pilot. “We have a great relationship with Local 1224 and we’re grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the local. It’s because we’ve come together and grown over the years that we have this opportunity to form Local 2750 and we look forward to what is to come.”

Atlas Air services customers in e-commerce, including Amazon and DHL, as well as the U.S. Military.

“As our negotiations with Atlas for a collective bargaining agreement continue, we expect to make progress with our motivated group of Local 2750 pilots. Over the coming weeks, we will keep the pilots group informed on developments with our local and more ways they can get involved in their union,” Kirchner said.

Teamsters and Airline Division ratify new contract for Air Canada employees

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters have ratified their newest ten-year collective bargaining agreement with Air Canada. The agreement covers over 700 customer service representatives, concierge and premium agents, reservation agents, air cargo workers and other workers at the company’s U.S. base of operations.

“I’m extremely proud of our members at Air Canada and very pleased with the outcome of this process,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “Our membership was engaged, enthusiastic and united throughout collective bargaining, and they worked productively with the company to reach an agreement that everyone is happy with.”

“I’d like to thank the negotiating committee for all of their hard work on this agreement,” said Bob Fisher, Airline Division International Representative. “They were able to draft a contract that improves compensation and working conditions while also ensuring that the company will maintain the impeccable safety standards and customer service it has become known for as the flag carrier of Canada.”

The contract was negotiated and ratified in less than six months, a remarkably quick turnaround for a union contract in the aviation industry. The 10-year agreement includes a number of new benefits, including signing bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, guaranteed protection for medical rates and job security, annual raises and the elimination of black-out periods for vacation. The airline is the largest domestic and international passenger carrier in Canada.


Airline Division/TAMC participate in American Legion Summit

The American Legion held its annual Credentialing Summit on August 28th and 29th in Indianapolis Indiana.

Teamster Airline Division Representatives Paul Alves and Chris Moore participated as the only aviation labor representatives. 

Paul Alves moderated the Aeronautics Best Practices Panel. The Panel consisted of representatives from the FAA, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Dan Akins, Flightpath Economics and TAMC Chairman Chris Moore. The discussion centered around efforts to help Separating Service Men and Women find a pathway to get their A&P License. 

Dan Akin set the stage by explaining the Aircraft Maintenance Technician shortage and the panel discussed various pathways that will allow service members to acquire an A&P license. The Panel found that although the military has multiple avenues for active duty member to acquire the license many choose not to pursue it until they get to close to separation. The two best options other than an accredited school are meeting the time requirement of 30 months or getting into an apprenticeship program either while in or just after separation. Some have been in an Aviation Maintenance MOS and the panel discussed ways to capture that information for use towards the 30-month FAA requirement. Embry Riddle explained their apprenticeship program that will allow people to enter the MRO system as repairmen and the Teamsters Chris Moore described the development of a supplemental on-line program designed to get folks the education they need to combine with their work experience so they can successfully pass the FAA exam. 

The on-line program is being developed for use with apprenticeship programs as well.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense sat in on the session and expressed his appreciation for the work being done for our behalf of service members who are separating from active service and moving to the private sector.

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

Indonesian investigators have concluded that a series of factors, primarily the design of the Boeing 737 MAX maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) system, pilot training and maintenance practices, combined to cause the crash of Lion Air flight 610 a year ago.

Atlas Air won $287M in defense contracts, more than half of the total awarded to 12 US airlines. The contracts are to provide international long- and short-range charter services for the Department of Defense over the next year.

Airlines, Industry and Labor

UPS’ Flight Forward subsidiary has received the first FAA Part 134 Standard certification to use unmanned aircraft for package deliveries nationwide, allowing it to operate a “drone airline.”

UPS Chief Operating Officer Jim Barber will retire at the end of the year. Barber, who was named COO last year, has worked for UPS since 1985, starting as a delivery driver.

It’s legitimate to wonder whether FedEx is on the road to a break-up, whatever the scale of change to its corporate tree might be.

UPS will be increasing its hub operation in Louisville, Ky., with a "series of construction projects around Worldport that could reach $750 million" in the next 15 years and add 1,000 new jobs. Kentucky offered $40 million in development incentives for the construction initiative, which will begin in 2020 with a hangar that can accommodate two 747-8F aircraft, the largest in the UPS fleet, and may also encompass taxiway improvements, renovated office buildings, training facility expansions and new operations offices.

The growth in air cargo tonnage in the second quarter of the year was down 5% compared with the first quarter of 2019.

A shareholder lawsuit has been launched against FedEx, claiming “tens of millions of dollars in damages”. The claim highlights the accuracy of corporate earnings calls and the responsibility of executives to ensure transparency.