Cargo Pilots at Emery Worldwide Airlines Push for Conclusion to Contract Talks




Cargo Pilots at Emery Worldwide Airlines Push for Conclusion to Contract Talks

August 3, 2000, WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With their next round of mediated contract negotiations set to begin in less than one week, and the prospect of a 30-day deadline to a labor strike looming, the pilots of Emery Worldwide Airlines are taking steps to move the collective-bargaining process toward the endgame. The National Mediation Board -- which began mediated negotiations in September 1999 upon the urging of the pilots' union, the Air Line Pilots Association, International -- has signaled that the talks are reaching a critical and perhaps final phase by placing the upcoming Aug. 8-11 negotiating session under the personal supervision of Board member Magdalena Jacobsen.

Meanwhile, the union has asked the NMB to issue immediately a "proffer of arbitration," a requirement of federal law that the NMB offer to both parties the option of submitting their differences to a neutral arbitrator for a binding ruling. If either party rejects the proffer, the same federal law allows the NMB to launch a "30-day cooling-off period," after which a strike or other form of economic self-help becomes possible if intensified negotiations during that period have not resulted in a settlement.

Compensation, job security and retirement provisions remain the unresolved issues in the negotiations. "While we will approach next week's negotiating session with every hope of resolving these matters and will leave no stone unturned to find a way to make an agreement, we also want to avoid any further delays in the setting of a 30-day strike deadline should our bargaining efforts prove futile," said Capt. Tom Rachford, chairman of the Emery pilots' unit in ALPA.


"Until the NMB actually proffers arbitration, we will reserve our judgment whether to accept or decline such an offer. More importantly, we want to streamline the transition to the 30-day cooling-off period if the company continues to fail to adequately address our fair and reasonable bargaining interests. That is why we've asked in advance for the NMB to proffer arbitration," Rachford said. Our requirement for adequate job security protections is a critical issue in these negotiations. Because of the way in which our company mixes its own flying with that performed by outside contractors, our pilots currently are exposed to being whipsawed," Rachford said. "We've shown management that, even after providing the reasonable compensation terms that we're seeking, Emery can use its own aircraft and crews to move freight more efficiently and cost-effectively," he said.

"Nonetheless, we also acknowledge that, for the sake of operational flexibility, some degree of outsourcing may be necessary. We're simply seeking assurances that the proper proportion of in-house and outsourced flying be maintained. The company should not be able to constantly wield the threat of outsourcing our jobs to exert inordinate leverage in all other areas of our work lives," Rachford said.

Emery Worldwide specializes in time-definite transportation services for business-to-business shippers of heavyweight cargo. A $2.4-billion company, Emery provides global air and ocean freight transportation, logistics management and customs brokerage services to manufacturing, industrial, retail and government customers. Based in Redwood City, Calif., Emery operates in 229 countries through a network of more than 500 service centers and agent locations around the world.

Emery Worldwide is a subsidiary of CNF Inc., (NYSE:CNF), a $5.6-billion diversified transportation company based in Palo Alto, Calif. CNF Inc. is a management company of global supply chain solutions with businesses in regional trucking, air freight, ocean freight, customs brokerage, global logistics management and trailer manufacturing.

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