Kalitta Air pilots reach impasse in negotiations

The Teamster union representing Kalitta Air, LLC pilots and flight engineers has informed the National Mediation Board that after more than five years of negotiations for a new labor agreement, further mediation efforts would be fruitless and counterproductive, the union said.

In a letter to the NMB, the Teamsters requested that the agency make a so-called proffer of arbitration to the union and Kalitta Air. Under the Railway Labor Act, if the agency proffers arbitration and both parties accept it, then all disputed contract terms are submitted to binding arbitration for resolution. If either party rejects the proffer, then the NMB must place the parties in a 30-day cooling off period. During the cooling off period, the NMB typically engages in intensive mediation efforts in a final attempt to avoid a work stoppage. Absent intervention by the president of the United States, a union is free to strike at the end of the cooling off period.

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 and other customers. Crew members, represented by the Airline Professionals Association (APA) Teamsters Local 1224, are preparing for a strike.

On May 12, negotiators representing the union and the company met with a federal mediator in St. Louis. The Teamsters offered a compromise proposal to resolve all outstanding issues. After receiving the proposal, Kalitta Air´s management team left the negotiations site without responding to the union´s proposal or the courtesy of notifying union negotiators that they were returning to Michigan rather than returning to the negotiating session.

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