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FedEx pilot strike woes continue

FedEx could soon be under pressure to keep its freighters in the air with pilots considering strike action.

FedEx Express pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have announced that the voting window for a strike authorisation ballot will open on April 18.

“Mediated negotiations for a new employment contract for the pilots have failed to produce an industry-leading agreement,” stated the union in a press release on April 14.

In February, the FedEx Express Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) unanimously approved a resolution setting the stage for a strike authorisation vote.

The pilots’ contract became amendable in November 2021, with negotiations beginning in May 2021.

“At a time when our pilots should be joining our company in celebration of its 50th anniversary, we are instead forced to apply additional pressure to management in an effort to secure a new contract,” said Chris Norman, chair of the FedEx ALPA MEC.

“We do not make a decision like this lightly, but we intend to send a strong and unified message to management that our pilots are willing to go the distance to achieve the contract we have earned.”

ALPA and FedEx have been in mediated talks under the US Railway Labor Act (RLA) since October 2022.

Approval of the ballot does not mean a strike is inevitable. Before a strike can take place, the National Mediation Board must first decide that additional mediation efforts would not be productive and offer the parties an opportunity to arbitrate the contract dispute.

If either side declines the arbitration, both parties enter a 30-day “cooling off” period, after which the parties can engage in self-help — a strike by the union or a lockout by management.

The company is also focussed on as recently been focusing on cutting costs by scaling back and consolidating operating companies 

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