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Western Global Airlines’ pilots join union

Aloha Air Cargo reaches labor deal with ground workers

The National Mediation Board on Tuesday certified the Air Line Pilots Association as the bargaining representative for the 180 pilots of all-cargo carrier Western Global Airlines. The pilots were previously unrepresented.

Sixty-nine percent of those participating had voted in favor of joining the world’s largest pilot union.

Western Global Airlines, based in Estero, Florida,  is a 6-year-old company that flies aircraft under contract to airlines and logistics companies. Its fleet consists of MD-11s and Boeing 747-400 freighters. Customers include UPS, DHL Express, the Postal Service, Amazon and the Department of Defense.

The company received $34 million in federal COVID relief payments in last year’s CARES Act as well as millions more in Payroll Protection Program loans, which House Democrats complained was money the company didn’t deserve because the pandemic didn’t cause it to lose business.

In 2019, logistics company Flexport dropped Western Global as its charter operator because of service issues.

In related news, ramp workers at Aloha Air Cargo last week ratified a new contract that provides some beneficial wage and work-rule changes, said Clazy Griswold, the airline division coordinator for Teamsters Local 986. The negotiations were mediated by the National Mediation Board.

“In tough times, we did OK,” he said.

Teamsters Local 986 represents about 200 ground agents and pilots at Aloha Air under separate contracts. Aloha Air Cargo, a subsidiary of Northern Aviation Services, operates a Boeing 767 and a 737 between the Hawaiian islands, as well as two routes connecting Honolulu with Los Angeles and Seattle. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes UPS (No. 2).

Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at