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View Full Version : Atlas/Southern Picketing Wash DC

03-29-2017, 07:03 AM
Atlas and Southern crews will be conducting another round of informational picketing in front of the White House on Weds April 5th, 10am-2pm.

We'd love to have you join us, wear your uniform if you like, or dress professionally please. There will be media and politicians.

We'll be in the SE Quad of Lafayette Square and/or the sidewalk just adjacent to and north of the White House.

All carriers, but esp. those in the DHL/Amazon network are encouraged to attend.

Thanks for any support.

03-29-2017, 10:25 PM
Be there! Help raise the bar!
Unity is needed now more than ever!!!


04-02-2017, 05:46 PM
Should be nice weather.

04-04-2017, 05:04 AM
Final bump.
Who's joining us?


It’s time to stand up to DHL and fight for American workers

By Philip “Spike” Forsberg, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired)

Like many Americans, I want to provide my family with the opportunity to live a better life than my own, and to work toward a brighter future for my children and future generations. As a U.S. cargo pilot, I feel honored by the role my colleagues and I play in building this future. We work long hours, fly in dangerous conditions, and go through years of training, but we do it because we understand that our work is vital to keeping our economy humming. Our commitment to our customers is a top priority, and the notion of service runs deep in our industry. Like me, many of my colleagues are veterans or reservists who have spent years in selfless service and embody this same dedication in their professional lives. Yet after years in this field, I can no longer remain silent as American workers are shortchanged and our nation’s laws skirted by a global corporation dragging us down a race to the bottom.

Despite the important work U.S. cargo pilots do, our profession is under threat from a foreign company that is showing little regard for the standards that have long defined our nation’s piloting tradition. DHL, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, is using its size and influence over the industry to undercut its U.S. workforce. As millions of frustrated Americans look for leadership on protecting U.S. jobs, everyone from President Trump to Speaker Ryan to Senators Sanders and Warren are making this issue a priority. And they need to turn their attention to DHL.

Five carriers in the U.S. – Atlas Air, Southern Air, Polar Air, ABX Air and Kalitta Air – are responsible for 70 percent of DHL’s global flying. I’ve been a cargo pilot for nine years at one of these airlines. Like many of my peers, I sought this career as an opportunity to travel and connect our great country with the rest of the world. When I first learned that I would be flying for DHL, I was excited. I believed in the image of DHL as an innovator and a leader respected by businesses and customers alike. But the reality of working for DHL is pushing me and my family to our breaking point.

Even after posting record profits last year and signing off on millions for its top executives, the company is pushing its contracted cargo carriers in the U.S. to provide service at rock-bottom rates. The enormous pressure trickles down to pilots like me, leading to lower standards in pay, benefits, and quality of life found at iconic American shipping companies such as UPS and FedEx.

At my airline, Southern Air, DHL’s pressure is taking a serious toll. We’re regularly forced to fly much longer hours than pilots at other American carriers. For example, my colleagues and I have been asked to sit on 14-hour flights from the U.S. to the Middle East, only to then fly the same aircraft to Asia on another 9-hour journey. This is equivalent to flying three-quarters of the way around the world --nearly 23 hours in total -- in a single day. Even the FAA has said that “extended duty” policies like this can lead to a level of fatigue that is similar to being “drunk.”

And DHL’s disregard for its U.S. pilots isn’t just hurting us – it’s placing an incredible burden on our families. At another DHL carrier, pilots went on strike for two days after a year of regularly being forced to cover overtime shifts due to short-staffing. Ask any pilot and they will tell you the pain of telling your loved ones that you will once again be missing a school play, an anniversary, a basketball game or a date night with your spouse is unbearable. And it’s only made worse knowing that you are sacrificing these precious moments to meet DHL’s outrageous demands.

And most disturbing – it is becoming increasingly clear that DHL is trying to pull the strings from behind the scenes, using a complex web of ties to our industry to bypass legal checks against foreign influence and bring its “slash and burn” mentality toward workers to America. At one U.S.-based DHL carrier, Polar Air, DHL already owns 49% of the company –- the largest stake a foreign entity can own. At Southern Air, we not only fly exclusively for DHL, but the German company also owns and leases back the planes that we fly.

It is time to stop foreign corporations from subverting the laws of our nation and undermining the value of our labor. We cannot let a German company succeed in lowering our American job standards. Millions of Americans, including cargo pilots and our families, have made it clear that we want our elected officials to stand up for American workers. It isn’t a partisan issue. We hope President Trump and all of our elected leaders – regardless of party -- join us in demanding that DHL stop using its influence to shortchange pilots in America.

Philip “Spike” Forsberg has been a pilot for 35 years and joined Southern Air in 2008. He previously served in the US Army, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He and his family live in Kennesaw, Georgia.

04-05-2017, 04:13 AM
Walking soon on a beautiful spring morning.

Desmond Lee, (646) 517-1826, [email protected]

Protesting the German company’s efforts to depress wages,

U.S. pilots responsible for 70% of DHL’s global flying protest at White House, say the German shipping company is lowering industry standards, manipulating U.S. law while it makes billions in profits

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. cargo pilots who fly for DHL are protesting outside the White House Wednesday, saying the German shipping giant is driving down standards in pay, working conditions and quality of life for pilots in America. The pilots – represented by the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224 – are from five U.S.-based airlines that are responsible for 70 percent of DHL’s global flying and are calling on the president to join them in standing up to the foreign company. In an open letter they sent to the president Wednesday, the pilots wrote:

“You have often said that our country needs leaders to stand up for American workers. We, as pilots at five cargo airlines, are writing to ask you to stand with us in calling on DHL, the German shipping company, to respect U.S. aviation law and stop lowering U.S. industry standards in pay and quality of life. We take tremendous pride in supplying our communities with the goods they need, but we cannot continue to work under the influence of a foreign company that is destabilizing the livelihoods of pilots and manipulating the law.”

Despite bringing in a record $2.8 billion in profits last year, DHL is using its size and market power to undermine American workers. The foreign company is pressuring the U.S.-based cargo airlines it contracts with for the majority of its flying – ABX Air, Atlas Air, Southern Air, Polar Air and Kalitta Air – to provide service at rock-bottom rates; the pressure trickles down to pilots and lowers industry standards in everything from wages and benefits to workplace policies. The company is also attempting to skirt U.S. laws designed to protect American airlines against foreign influence.

The pilots – many of whom are veterans and reservists – are marching in front of the White House with signs reading, “Mr. President – U.S. Pilots Need Your Help,” “Make the Airline Industry Great Again” and “DHL – Driving Down Living Standards for U.S. Pilots.” Frustrated by DHL’s ongoing efforts to shortchange pilots and delays in negotiations, pilots from one of the carriers, ABX Air, went on a two-day strike last year during the busy holiday shipping season that grounded flights for DHL. Pilots from the four other carriers have all voted to strike if necessary.

“As cargo pilots, we take great pride in delivering for our customers safely and efficiently, and we are proud of the standards that have long defined our nation’s piloting tradition,” said Michael Griffith, an Atlas Air pilot who is protesting at the White House. “We are united and speaking out because we can’t stand by while a foreign entity tries to shortchange U.S. pilots, our families and communities. President Trump said he wants to be a champion for American workers, and we hope he’ll join us in calling on DHL to stop using its influence to drive down our job standards.”

DHL’s drive to lower standards in the U.S. is straining operations across the cargo industry. Many long-time pilots flying for DHL are leaving their carriers for better opportunities at other American airlines like FedEx and UPS, while their carriers are struggling to recruit enough new pilots to get the job done. At DHL’s largest contractor, Atlas Air, pilot retention figures have sunk while the attrition rate hit an all-time high at the start of this year.

The pilots say that DHL is undermining U.S. job standards through a series of legal maneuvers designed to skirt the law. Federal regulations require cargo airlines to show U.S. citizenship of company owners and operations: the Department of Transportation ensures that no more than 49 percent of an airline’s ownership can come from a foreign entity. DHL is circumventing these rules by hiding behind a web of ties to American carriers, allowing the company to exert outsized influence. DHL already holds a 49 percent stake in one of its major contractors, Polar Air, which flies exclusively for DHL. Southern Air also operates exclusively for DHL, while the German shipping giant owns and leases back the aircraft that Southern pilots fly. Close to 50 percent of Atlas’s flying is for DHL.

At some DHL carriers, the pressure to meet the company’s growing demands is resulting in dangerous scheduling practices. At Southern Air, pilots are forced to fly much longer hours than those at UPS and FedEx. The FAA warns that these types of extended duty periods can induce fatigue and even result in a level of impairment equivalent to being drunk.

“It pains me every time I have to tell my family that I’ll be missing a game, a recital or a night out with my wife, a pain that is only worsened by the fact that we’re being pushed to the limits to satisfy DHL’s outrageous race to the bottom,” said Bryan Holmberg, a Southern Air pilot who is protesting at the White House today. “By pressuring our carriers to slash prices, DHL is showing a blatant disregard for American workers and our families that we can’t ignore.”

Other major logistics companies are copying the DHL model. Amazon has hired DHL-contracted airlines to service its new air delivery operation, Prime Air. Following DHL’s lead, Amazon is now helping to lower pay in the industry.

Pilots from American Airlines and UPS will also be joining the protest in solidarity with their colleagues in the cargo industry.

DHL’s track record of mistreating workers and harming communities is well-documented. In 2008, despite overwhelming opposition from the community, pilots, and members of Congress, the logistics company laid off 8,000 workers in Wilmington, Ohio when it abruptly shuttered its distribution center. In a town with less than 13,000 residents, one in every three Wilmington households was impacted by DHL’s sudden shuttering.

The pilots’ letter to President Trump concludes: “Millions of people have found hope in your promise to fight for American workers. This same spirit can be found in our nation’s cargo pilots. We are proudly fighting to protect our jobs and our country by making sure U.S. standards for cargo shipping are upheld by foreign companies like DHL. We hope you take this commitment to heart by joining us in calling on DHL to do right by pilots and the country by telling the company to stop using its influence to drive down our job standards.”

04-06-2017, 01:11 PM
How was the turnout?

Much thanks to anyone and everyone who participated. Unfortunately I'm still on probation, or else I would definitely have been there.

04-07-2017, 09:13 AM
How was the turnout?

Much thanks to anyone and everyone who participated. Unfortunately I'm still on probation, or else I would definitely have been there.

Turn out was good! About 50 Atlas, Southern, ABX and even AA crew members.

Plenty of industry coverage and small delegation of crews met with lawmakers afterwards on Capitol Hill.

04-13-2017, 06:15 AM
Thank you to all the folks that turned up on our behalf. I certainly appreciate the time you dedicate to our cause and hopefully I can join the next one if I'm on days off.