UPS axes 260 pilots

UPS is to lay off Alaska-based 260 pilots this year in reaction, it says, to the US recession.

“I left a major airline carrier to come to work for UPS,” said pilot Will Goolsby. “I’m feeling a little bit misled, betrayed that we’re being let go now, especially [since] it appears cargo and shipping is up and I’m just a little confused,” he added.

UPS has 2,819 pilots and says that it tried to come to an agreement with their union that would have avoided cutbacks but negotiations failed.

“The economy is part of the reason, but the reality is economic recovery or slow times or whatever we’re in, we simply have 300 more pilots than we need to run our airline right now,” said Mike Mangeot, a spokesman for UPS.

Last month, UPS said the global recovery for airfreight demand had lifted its first quarter profits and so its overall forecast for the rest of the year.

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