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Amazon holiday shipping threatened by cargo airline pilot strike

The strike involves 250 pilots who regularly helm flights for Amazon and carrier DHL during the busy holiday shopping season.

Amazon is known for its almost miraculously quick package shipping. Now, though, a strike by the people who fly those packages comes at the worst time of the year.

With Black Friday a couple days away and the holiday shopping season kicking off in earnest afterward, pilots employed by ABX Air have gone on strike to protest what they call unfair business practices, Bloomberg reports.

The strike affects 35 flights a day for Amazon and 45 per day for DHL Worldwide Express, according to the union that represents the pilots. The pilots are picketing ABX's offices in Wilmington, Ohio, and DHL's hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

The union claims ABX is violating its contract by overworking the pilots during the holiday rush, preventing them from taking time off. It also says the strike could cause major shipping delays for some Amazon customers during the busy holiday season.

Amazon downplayed the potential for disruption. "We work with a variety of carriers and are confident in our ability to serve customers," the company said in a statement Tuesday.