FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) - Amazon and DHL pilots protested over poor conditions and ongoing contact negotiations at the intersection of Turfway Road and Curtis Avenue in Florence on Thursday.
“Basically what you are looking at here is people who haven’t had raises in three to five years while the economy is booming,” Atlas Air Captain Mike Griffith said. “Amazon.com is booming, DHL is booming, all these other things are happening and our pilots are not able to take advantage of that for their families and their careers.”
An ongoing problem pilots are pleading on a solution for, now protesting in the public eye to try and bring more awareness to the situation.
“These people like their jobs," Griffith said. "When we do these jobs it’s important to understand that this airline industry is not something you can just jump from one job to another.”
According to a survey by Airlines Professional Association Teamsters Local 1224, who represent pilots and flight crew members across the county, a number of pilots have also been asked to fly on their days off.
In response to all of this some are now seeking work at competitors like UPS and FedEx and carriers are now having a difficult time recruiting new pilots.
The spokesperson for Atlas Air released the following statement:
“Atlas values our pilots and is eager to increase their pay. Any delay in completing the next pilot contract has been a direct result of the union leadership’s refusal to adhere to its contractual commitments, which provide for an orderly and timely resolution of remaining contractual issues. Had union leaders followed the collective bargaining agreement, the pilots would have had a new contract -- and a raise -- by now. We remain committed to working collaboratively with union leadership to complete an agreement for our pilots. Our customers play no role in labor negotiations, including pilot pay and work rules, contrary to what the Union continues to suggest. The protest event that the Union has planned, like prior such events, is an attempt to gain additional leverage in the current negotiations.”
Officials also say this all comes as the Amazon Air operation becomes more reliant on its partnership with CVG.
In May, Amazon plans to break ground on its new $1.5 billion hub at CVG with plans to officially open for business in 2021.
The e-retailer also announced a partnership with DHL to leverage the shipper's existing resources at CVG.