Local 2750 Trustee Update: 13oct20

Local 2750 Trustee Update: 13oct20


October 13, 2020


Dear Local 2750 Members:

My Trustee Update from October 8 alerted you to maintenance concerns that have recently increased in frequency on the line at Atlas. (Read the update here) The message alerted you to these alarming safety trends concerning Atlas Air’s maintenance and operational practices. As you know, the operation is stressed to its limits with regard to crews and equipment. We support the company’s effort to maximize profits, but not at the expense of safety.  Disappointingly, the company seems anxious to go into attack mode, threatening us with the below letter, rather than dealing with the problem.

This update was sent in response to potentially serious safety concerns and the crewmembers forced to deal with these recent safety events. In August, a HNL flight suffered an engine failure following takeoff. Last month in LAX, one of our crewmembers was forced to escalate a serious maintenance issue to a chief pilot in order to ensure it was properly addressed.  In each instance, Atlas maintenance control cleared an aircraft for flight that in fact was not airworthy.  A number of other events have occurred recently.

This safety alert was intended solely to preserve the safety of all of you, our passengers, and the public.  Our advisory was to aid our crewmembers in their individual exercise of pilot-in-command duties to ensure airworthiness of aircraft and safety of flight.  We are confident our crewmembers understand safety issues for this union stand apart from any other dispute, whether collective bargaining or otherwise, that we have with the Company. Neither the Atlas pilots nor this Union will compromise safety of operations by mixing safety with labor disputes. There was and is NO intent, either literally or implied, for any of you to engage in any sort of ‘slowdown’ per Carlson’s accusations or for you to in any way engage in any other adverse activity against the company’s operations.

Rereading the message, I am still at a loss to understand how anyone would interpret a safety alert directed solely to our PIC’s safety duties in the way the company did-especially since the Company is well aware of these recent events.  I suspect the real intent by the company may be to muzzle the union, hide potentially dangerous maintenance practices, and/or deny the union the right to communicate with our members.  So, we simply ask you to go about the safety aspects of your job in the same manner you always have, but continue to be vigilant due to recently observed trends without regard to non-safety issues, whether negotiations or otherwise.

We thought the Company shared this commitment with the Union to keep safety separate from our other disputes.  But as I noted concerning the Company’s manipulative entangling of the Covid-19 MOU with its new-found desire to implement a single operating certificate, Atlas has unfortunately chosen to abandon that commitment.  And it is now seeking to use the 2017 injunction in order to silence the Union on important safety issues despite the Atlas 2019 fatal crash and the recent safety events referenced above.

We will keep you updated as this troubling situation evolves.


Bob Kirchner

IAP Local 2750 Trustee