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Pilot strike halts Amazon package delivery

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Theo Thimou

The pilots who fly your Amazon orders are mad as heck…and they’re not going to take it anymore!

Just in time for the holiday season, some 250 pilots who recently contracted with the Seattle e-commerce giant are refusing to fly out of Cincinnati because they say they’re overworked and understaffed.

The pilots fly for ABX Air, a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), and are responsible for handling 35 daily flights for Amazon. In addition, they also do 45 daily runs for international shipping company DHL.

A union representing the pilots—Airline Professionals Association, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224—released the following statement:

“ABX management has acknowledged that its penny-wise, pound foolish scheme backfired, as it waited too long to start hiring additional pilots and actually hired too few pilots. Since then, ABX has been forcing its pilots to fly additional trips and disrupting their schedules in an effort to climb out from the staffing hole it dug for itself.”

Meanwhile, ATSG is preparing a legal challenge to the strike.

“ABX Air is taking multiple steps to resolve and end an illegal work stoppage that began today,” ABX Air President John Starkovich said in a statement. “We expect the court will uphold our position that the actions taken by the union to refuse work assignments is not legal, and the issues involved constitute a minor dispute to be resolved via arbitration under terms of our current labor agreements.”

No word how much money Amazon stands to lose from the strike.

But of course, it goes without saying that CEO Jeff Bezos is probably doing some serious hand-wringing and fretting right now as we prepare to enter the busy shipping season!

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