FedEx Pilots Reject Proposed Multiyear Contract

Vote Will Have No Impact on Service, Company Says
FedEx pilots picketing for a better contract
FedEx Express pilots picket outside the New York Stock Exchange last October. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News)

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Union pilots who fly for FedEx announced on July 24 the rejection of a proposed multiyear contract from the company, with 57% of members voting against the deal.

The two sides met earlier this year under supervision from the National Mediation Board and settled on the agreement, which the Air Line Pilots Association leadership took back to its 5,500 rank-and-file pilots. The proposal included up to 30% increases in both pay and pension fund contributions.

The union said it now expects the National Mediation Board to convene a status conference with the two sides, but there is no requirement for when that meeting might take place.

“Our members have spoken and we will now regroup and prepare for the next steps,” FedEx ALPA Chairman Capt. Chris Norman said. “In the coming weeks, the FedEx ALPA leadership will meet to establish a timeline for assessing pilot group priorities moving forward. FedEx pilots remain unified and that will drive a new path that will help produce an agreement that all FedEx pilots will be proud to support.”


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In a statement, the company said, “The tentative agreement voting results have no impact on our service as we continue delivering for our customers around the world. The parties will return to negotiations under the supervision of the National Mediation Board. While we are disappointed in these voting results, FedEx will continue to bargain in good faith with our pilots to achieve an agreement that is fair for all FedEx stakeholders.”

The most recent contract was signed in 2015. The two sides have been in mediation since November.

Some FedEx pilots who voiced opposition to the agreement said on social media that the proposed pay raises were not as strong as those received by their counterparts at Delta Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines. United pilots in July gave preliminary approval to a deal with raises up to 40% over four years. American said recently it was increasing its new pilot contract by $1 billion to equal the United deal. In March, Delta pilots agreed to a 34% pay increase over four years.

FedEx is in the midst of an extensive cost-cutting and efficiency program. Officials in April detailed a plan to combine nearly all of its ground, air and other operations by June 2024 as part of a $4 billion cost-cutting initiative.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, FedEx has seen lower shipping demand. As a result, the company said it would accelerate retirement of some older, less fuel-efficient aircraft and temporarily park others because of lower air cargo volumes.

FedEx management also has said it plans to close or reduce operations at some pilot bases, and will shut down a maintenance facility in Los Angeles and move those operations to Indianapolis.

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