Press Releases

Teamsters Send Section 6 Notice to Atlas Air, Southern Air


(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division has sent a “Section 6 Notice” to Atlas Air, Inc., and Southern Air, Inc., on behalf of the pilots represented by the union at those airlines. Under the Railway Labor Act, the filing of the Section 6 notice on Feb. 16 signals the Teamsters’ intent to negotiate modifications to the pilots’ collective bargaining agreements.

“It is time for the pilots at each of these airlines to have a contract that represents their contribution to the success of their airlines and that fully recognizes the value of a professional airline pilot in today’s market,” said Daniel Wells, President of Teamsters Local 1224 in Wilmington, Ohio. “The Atlas pilots have been held back by a collective bargaining agreement that was the result of an amalgamation of two airlines and an interest arbitration award that did not adequately protect pilots’ interests. This situation must be amended moving forward.”

Recently, Atlas Air’s corporate parent, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., announced that it had reached an agreement to purchase Southern Air Holdings, Inc., Southern Air’s corporate parent. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has announced its desire to merge the Atlas and Southern airlines and pilots. However, no agreement has been reached with the Teamsters on how or when the merging will occur.

“A merger of Atlas and Southern airlines must recognize and protect the rights, careers and contributions of our member pilots,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Together, the workers of those airlines contribute to the success of DHL— supporting many Teamster jobs. The company needs to get this right.”

“Our Southern Air pilots have suffered under a bankruptcy-forced labor agreement that the company has used to impose substandard and onerous working conditions upon them,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “These conditions cannot continue, especially in light of this pending merger. The Airline Division and the Teamsters look forward to productive negotiations with both of these companies to bring the pilots’ pay, benefits and work rules up to the top of the industry.”

Teamsters Local 1224 also represents the pilots at nine other airlines, including ABX Air and Kalitta Air. The ABX and Kalitta pilots are engaged in negotiations to modify their collective bargaining agreements. These four airlines — ABX, Atlas, Kalitta and Southern — are the primary contractors to Germany’s DHL, carrying a large percentage of DHL’s air freight in the U.S. and worldwide.

“We’re not going to stand for substandard offers and foot-dragging at the bargaining table,” Wells said. “Kalitta Air already has a strike authorization, and most likely, the other airlines in Section 6 soon will have authorizations as well.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at