Employees Say Amerijet Airplane Dumped 23,000 Pounds of Fuel in South Florida Waters

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

If you think your job sucks, try flying planes for Amerijet International. According to workers, the Fort Lauderdale-based cargo flight company has no restrooms on airplanes, and makes pilots squat in plastic bags during their intercontinental journeys.

Worse, pilots - who fly Bowing 727s at Miami International Airport -- say they're sometimes forced to work back-to-back 18-hour shifts. The workload leaves them exhausted as they navigate one of the most congested airspace in the country. (Can you say safety no-no?)

"They keep bending the rules as far as they can," Captain Gordon Shaylor told Riptide. "It's absolutely ridiculous." The 46-year-old native of England has worked for Amerijet since May 2007. Pilots like him earn salaries of about $30,000 annually.

Yesterday, the Business Travel Coalition called on U.S. congress to investigate the company. If what the BTC says is true, Amerijet is screwing more than just its employees.

Last Thursday, an Amerijet plane lost pressure and dumped 23, 000 pounds of fuel into South Florida waters, according to BTC. Maintenance problems have been so bad that planes are forced to turn mid-trip about four times a month. The company doesn't want to spend money to fix problems like this, says Captain Shaylor.

Kevin Mitchell, chairman of BTC says it's only a matter of time before there's an accident.: "It's like a fourth-world country...The working conditions are worse than the sweatshops of the 1930s."

Employees began striking last week. They're hoping to negotiate a union contract.

Adds Captain Shaylor: "I think [Amerijet] is in for a wake-up call."

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.