FedEx Photo 124968474 Business © Grzegorz Kieca
© Grzegorz Kieca

The threat of strike action by its pilots appears to have wrung concessions out of FedEx Express, which has announced a “tentative agreement”.

Details are scant, as they are still subject to a final deal between pilots’ union the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and FedEx, as well as a ratification vote by the members.

In May, those FedEx pilots which were union members voted overwhelmingly to allow a strike, with 97% participating in the vote and of those, 99% voted for a strike.

Although FedEx branded this a “tactic” at the time, the company appears to have re-evaluated its position in the wake of the result and, on Tuesday, the operator announced an agreement.

It said: “We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with our pilots as we continue delivering outstanding service to our customers around the world.”

Aside from the strike vote, the pilots conducted an informational picket in late March.

Yesterday, Chris Norman, chair of the FedEx ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC), suggested that the strike vote had been instrumental in bringing FedEx to the table.

“For more than two years, our pilots have demonstrated their unwavering support of our negotiating committee and, just two weeks ago, voted overwhelmingly to authorise a strike. This tentative agreement represents the culmination of a tremendous effort, and would not have been possible without the solidarity, patience, and determination of every FedEx pilot.”

The pilots, represented by ALPA have been pursuing an increase in wages, as well as better retirement plans. Their contract has been under contention since May 2021 when the previous contract expired.

The FAA specifying a high minimum number of 1,500 flying hours to qualify poses a prohibitive cost of entry for many prospective US pilots, with loan repayments for tuition often making up a major share of their pay cheque.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.