Kalitta Air backs out of tentative agreement that would help airline attract pilots

Kalitta Air, LLC, the Ypsilanti, Michigan-based cargo airline, has backed out of its tentative agreement with pilots and their union that could have ended six years of prolonged contract negotiations and helped the airline attract and retain pilots, the company said.

Kalitta Air operates a fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft in support of the global network of DHL Express, a division of the German logistics company, Deutsche Post DHL. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, airline division, local 1224 represents the pilot group.

With the assistance of the National Mediation Board, the Teamsters and Kalitta Air reached a tentative agreement on September 29, 2016. Representatives of the two sides met in Ypsilanti to proofread the final document in advance of a planned ratification vote by the union´s membership.

During the proofreading session, Kalitta executives claimed there was no agreement on key areas of the proposed contract, including entire sections written by Kalitta Air that were agreed to by union negotiators.

Kalitta Air pilots have already authorized a strike. Union attorneys and leadership are meeting to develop a response to the carrier´s latest move.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.