In a publicly published letter, Captain Chris Norman, the chair of the FedEx Express Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), has expressed his concerns about the relationship between the cargo carrier and its pilots.
“As you are aware, the FedEx pilots rejected the tentative agreement between ALPA and FedEx Express by a 57-43% margin,” Norman said, adding that ALPA had since begun planning to reengage the union’s members.
The MEC chair also noted that the cargo airline’s outlook is “directly tied to the health of FedEx’s relationship with its pilots”.
“Post-rejection feedback received through multiple sources has clearly told us that the relationship is in a poor state,” the chair continued, mentioning that “FedEx pilots do not trust FedEx when it comes to their job security”.
This distrust stems from FedEx executives’ public statements about the company’s relationships with third-party carriers. Norman noted that this question “will need to be addressed by developing new contractual language, the negotiation of which may be highly contentious”.
“Beyond that, the FedEx pilots are very concerned about management’s attempt to drift away from providing a compensation and quality-of-life package that is competitive with those contracts reached this year at other major U.S. carriers,” the MEC’s chair stated.
Furthermore, Norman pointed out that FedEx pilots have always responded to performance requests from the company, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They did so because they had faith in the security of their jobs and evidence that they were being provided a compensation and quality-of-life package commensurate with their value,” the MEC chair mentioned, adding that these matters have been since compromised.
The FedEx MEC approved the tentative labor agreement in June 2023, with the pilots rejecting the offer in July 2023.
“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,” Norman said in July 2023.