At the conclusion of the 30-day “cooling off” period mandated by the National Mediation Board, World Airways pilots represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters went on strike. The labor group rejected the company’s final contract offer. They have been negotiating for two years.
Pilots are forbidden to abandon military flights and some commercial flights were protected through substitute service, according to the company. About 70% of the company’s business is with the U.S. military.
Mark Ohlau, negotiation chairman for the pilots’ union (Teamster Local 986), reportedly said this was not a full-blown strike.
World Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of World Air Holdings Inc., currently has 430 pilots.
In other airline labor news, Northwest Airlines was expected to ask U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Allan Gropper to allow it to cancel its union contracts with pilots and flight attendants as part of its plan to cut $1.4 billion in costs. The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Northwest’s 5,000 pilots, reportedly had set aside $10 million to prepare for a strike if the court allowed Northwest to set aside its contracts.