Amazon’s investment into the Hebron, Ky. hub will support a fleet of more than 100 Prime Air cargo planes, according to CVG.
CVG, state and local officials say Amazon will lease more than 900 acres of airport property for more than 50 years, with plans to build three million square feet of buildings and to add more than 2,700 jobs to CVG’s current base of 10,000
But Russo asks whether air contractors working for Amazon can keep up with the training, recruiting and maintenance demands such a huge operation entails.
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“What is the company doing to help recruit pilots into these positions,” he said.
Russo is represented by the Teamsters union, which has tried in recent weeks to call attention to what members say are working conditions for pilots who fly for Amazon and DHL at contracted carriers, Atlas Air, Southern Air and Wilmington-based ABX Air.
Recently, the union protested outside CVG, urging carriers to improve conditions.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, a spokesperson for Atlas Air said: “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.”
Messages seeking a response were also sent to Amazon and an ABX Air representative.
Captain Rick Ziebarth, pilot for Wilmington’s ABX Air and executive council chairman for ABX Air pilots of Teamsters Local 1224, also welcomes the growth, but with his own reservations.
“New business combined with a severe retirement problem has caused the work loads of current pilots to strongly intensify without any improvements to working conditions,” Ziebarth said in a statement. “ABX Air is well aware of its growing retirement problem and can address the issue by ending frustration and fairly negotiating with its pilots.”