FedEx pilot leaders agree to strike authorization vote
FedEx Express pilots on Monday, September 26, 2022 in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Michael Nagel | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The union represents FedEx Pilots last week unanimously agreed to a vote approving the strike, according to a press release on Wednesday.
Contract negotiations between FedEx management and the FedEx Express Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association International have stalled and no further talks are planned, the press release said.
“The decision to move closer to a vote on strike authorization is the result of nearly six months of federally brokered negotiations, which have resulted in our disappointment with the actions of FedEx management at the negotiating table,” said Captain Chris Norman, chairman of FedEx MEC.
FedEx pilots have been in negotiations with management since May 2021. According to a statement on the FedEx Pilots website, pilot leaders claim the company failed to “acknowledge pilot contributions.”
“ALPA leadership’s agreement to potentially hold a strike authorization vote at a later date will not impact our service as we continue to ship for our customers around the world,” FedEx said in a statement.
Tensions ran high as the airline industry recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in record losses of around $35 billion in 2020. Contract talks with pilots and flight attendants have been further derailed by the pandemic, while the industry has faced pilot shortages and rising costs.
A strike would only take place if negotiations fail and the federal government authorizes a strike under the required procedures of the Railway Labor Act. Both sides should be exempted from arbitration by the National Arbitration Board, which was called in during the contract negotiations in October.
After 30 days, pilots and management could take action on their own, which could involve a union strike or lockout.
“FedEx pilots are committed to reaching an agreement with management, but we will not abandon our commitment to enter into an agreement that rewards pilots for their sacrifices to make FedEx the global leader it is today,” said Norman. “While no strike authorization vote has been called at this time, our customers and shareholders should be aware that pilots may be heading in that direction shortly.”
A statement from pilot leaders says FedEx customers should plan for alternative means in the event of a pilot strike. There are only a few negotiating points left, the statement said.
The update comes a month after Southwest Airlines The pilots’ union called a vote to authorize a possible strike after sour contract negotiations. Delta Airlines The pilots also voted to authorize a possible strike in November.
unions that together represent about 30,000 pilots American Airlines And United Airlines turned down potential contracts in November.
– CNBC’s Leslie Josephs contributed to this report.