Pilots strike at ABX Air
Around 250 pilots flying for cargo carrier ABX Air went on strike yesterday (22 November) in a dispute over alleged staff shortages and requirements to work emergency hours. The strike is affecting a number of routes, including those for ABX’s major customers DHL and Amazon. The timing is, of course, extremely awkward for DHL and Amazon as we are moving into the peak season.
The striking pilots are represented by the Airline Professionals Association (APA) Teamsters Local 1224.
In a statement sent to Post&Parcel yesterday, the union said: “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 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.”
Striking pilots have been picketing outside of ABX Air’s headquarters in Wilmington and outside DHL’s North American hub, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
ATSG has said that ABX is taking a number of steps to end the “illegal work stoppage”.
As previously reported by Post&Parcel, ATSG signed a contract with Amazon earlier this to fly 20 Prime Air planes by 2018 – and Amazon has also taken a minority shareholding in the air cargo company.