Business Travel Coalition (BTC) today called on the U.S. Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to immediately investigate working conditions, maintenance practices and perverse contract incentives at Amerijet International that place schools, neighborhoods, the environment and the flying public at significant risk each and every day.
There are no toilets aboard the air cargo operator’s Boeing 727s. Female pilots are required to squat and defecate into bags. Male pilots likewise urinate into bags just outside the cockpit doors hanging them on hooks when finished. There is no food or water onboard and no sanitary facilities in which to wash up.
The Amerijet sick-leave policy, low $30,000 co-pilot salaries and 18-hour work days combine to create pilot-fatigue conditions, poor morale and dangerous crew resource management problems. Pilots who call out sick within 2-1/2 hours of their flight, and even up to 7 hours prior, are docked the equivalent of 2-days pay creating a condition that pressures pilots to fly even when sick or exhausted.
According to BTC sources at Amerijet, 3 to 4 times a month the company’s aircraft are forced to return to
“These working conditions are worse than the sweatshops of the 1930s. These Boeing 727s are operating in some of the most complex and congested airspace on the planet and operating on the busy taxi and cross-runways of
The 62 pilots and flight engineers at Amerijet International, Inc. went on strike on August 27, 2009 after 5 years of endeavoring to secure a contract that would jettison these toxic working conditions. (Watch a YouTube video here.) The support from other unions, especially given how small Amerijet is, has been truly unprecedented. When it comes to safe skies, obviously these industry professionals are drawing a line in the sand.
The following organizations have lent their support to the Amerijet pilots and flight engineers.
Congress and FAA need to address this outrageous and unsafe situation before a tragedy occurs.