UPS to begin pilot furloughs this weekend

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UPS to begin pilot furloughs this weekend

Unread post by bimjim » Fri May 21, 2010

http://atwonline.com/airline-finance-da ... ekend-0520

UPS to begin pilot furloughs this weekend
By Aaron KarpMay 21, 2010

UPS Airlines will furlough 54 pilots Sunday and may cut around 250 additional pilots by year end, according to both the company and the Independent Pilots Assn. representing the cargo carrier's 2,800 pilots.

UPS said in February that it would begin furloughing "at least" 300 pilots in phases beginning this month unless it could "find a solution with the pilots' union that would avert or mitigate the layoffs before they take effect" (ATWOnline, Feb. 9).

Last year, the company and IPA reached agreement on "a variety of voluntary steps" to cut $90 million in costs, in exchange for a promise from management that there would be no furloughs through April 1 of this year. But UPS said this week that lower demand, a more modern fleet requiring fewer pilots and raising of the pilot retirement age from 60 to 65 in December 2007 necessitates its first-ever pilot furloughs.

"At a time when the number one issue for most Americans is creating jobs, UPS is creating unemployment," IPA President Robert Thrush said. "What makes this furlough truly unfortunate is that our pilots took it upon themselves to give up pay and benefits to produce…guaranteed savings for UPS, enough to keep these 300 pilots employed well into 2011."

He charged that management earlier this year "mockingly [held] out hope that the furloughs may be mitigated, averted or eliminated" so that it could "shamefully attempt to place blame on the pilots for somehow failing to act."

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