Is the IPA telling the truth? Can they be trusted?



I'm under the impression that Tom Nicholson, head of the IPA is putting out false information to the public regarding UPS. The 10/25/2004 press release regarding pilot outsourcing "72 Percent of Americans Oppose UPS Outsourcing Pilot Labor to China Airlines

Louisville, Oct 25, 2004 Why would UPS, which owns the safest airline in the world, outsource the flying of cargo from the Far East into Middle America on one of the worlds most dangerous airlines, asked Captain Tom Nicholson, President of the Independent Pilots Association.

The IPA recently discovered that UPS Supply Chain Solutions has been outsourcing more than 300 flights a year, on a single route, from its own airline to China Airlines. Six times a week, under the cover of darkness, a China Airlines 747 arrives in Nashville to deliver 60 tons of cargo to one of Americas largest computer manufacturers. Until August 2001, these flights were made by FedEx, but thats when UPS Supply Chain Solutions won the contract and created a freight forwarding package that outsourced the flying to China Airlines.

The 2,500 UPS pilots have an unblemished safety record. China Airlines uses foreign aircrews that are not required to go through the same background checks as American pilots, said Capt. Nicholson. He went on to say, China Airlines is not a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

In the last decade, China Airlines has lost four wide-body jets at the cost of 688 lives. China Airlines latest crash in May of 2002 was a Boeing 747 bound for Hong Kong that broke up in mid-flight, killing all 225 aboard.

Night after night China Airlines flies cargo into America that has not been screened to the to the U.S. standard, if it has been screened at all, said Capt. Nicholson.

A survey of more than 1,000 American adults conducted earlier this month revealed that 83 percent of Americans are opposed to allowing China Airlines to fly their cargo planes into the United States. The survey also found that more than 72 percent of Americans are opposed to UPS outsourcing pilot labor to China Airlines.

Survey methodology: Random sample of 1,016 American adults aged 18 and older. Margin of error is +/- 3% at the 95% confidence level. Interviews were conducted by telephone from Oct 6 through 10, 2004. Interviews were completed by International Communications Research of Media, Pennsylvania at the direction of FrederickPolls, LLC, an Arlington, Virginia-based opinion research firm.

The IPA is the collective bargaining unit for the 2,500 professional pilots who fly the 268 heavy jet UPS fleet. IPA pilots fly more than 1,890 UPS flight segments every day to multiple points over five continents. In addition to being the worlds largest transportation company, UPS is also the worlds eleventh largest airline. "

Now Atlas airlines an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maint and Insurance) carrier flys for China Airlines Cargo. This is an American company that UPS uses for peak season. Atlas uses Atlas aircraft that are painted in China colors on behalf of China Airlines. Most of these crews are American. Atlas does have a very good safty record and has the largest fleet of 747 freighters on the planet. They operate for Fed Ex UPS, British Airways cargo, Atialia cargo, China airlines and others.
That article the IPA put out is very misleading to say the least and the retoric they have been doing is underhanded by contacting UPS customers. Mr. Nicholson should be ashamed of himself. Bob Miller seemed to have more integrity than Mr. Nicholson


Of course the IPA is attempting to mislead the public and UPS shippers (and in the process sending work to a non-union competitor thereby losing IPA union pilot jobs--good logic, don't you think?).

Think about it--ALL the airplanes that are operated by the UPS Airline division are flown by UPS employees (all IPA members, BTW).

Perhaps the IPA is alluding to the UPS Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) subsidiary. Last time I checked their web site, they do not have an airline or have pilots working for them. What SCS does is find the most efficient carrier based on what the customer needs are (remember the customer IPA?). UPS is often used but they are not the best solution in 100% of the cases. Can UPS aircraft meet every possible request made by customers of SCS all of the time? Of course not. What SCS does is find the best solution for the customer that meets their needs.


I don't know much (I'm sure a lot of you agree) but I do know that UPS stock price is being held down because of the retoric put out by the IPA. UPS has already lost volume and jobs because of this.
We don't need our unions telling customers to go to other companies.
Be thankful for the best pay package in an industry that has a lot of bankrupt companies like US Air, United and more.


The IPA fully understands their competitive position. On one point they have tremendous amount of leverage due to the competitive pressures UPS currently faces. At the same time they have limited leveage because an acutal strike requires much more litigation than it would if it were the teamsters. The IPA's true strength relies on numerous strike votes and bad publicity. Hopefully we can eventually get this settled and get back on page of kicking fdx's but.