Last Friday, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) unanimously passed a resolution within the FedEx Express Master Executive Council (MEC), paving the way for a vote on authorizing a strike.
Despite engaging in negotiations since May 2021, discussions between the pilots and FedEx management have reached an impasse, with no further meetings scheduled.
“The decision to move closer to a strike authorization vote is the result of nearly six months of federally mediated negotiations that has led to our disappointment with FedEx management’s actions at the bargaining table,” said Captain Chris Norman, FedEx MEC chair.
In their pursuit to obtain an industry-leading contract, the FedEx pilots will employ the complete range of resources offered by the Railway Labor Act (RLA) within the bounds of the law, which may include resorting to a strike.
According to the RLA, before initiating a strike, the pilots must receive clearance from the National Mediation Board, and a 30-day cooling-off period must transpire. Conducting a vote to authorize the strike is an additional requisite in this process.
“FedEx pilots are committed to reaching a deal with management, but we will not waver in our commitment to deliver a contract that rewards pilots for their sacrifices to build FedEx into the global leader it is today,” added Norman.
“Although a strike authorization vote has not been called at this time, our customers and shareholders should be aware that the pilots may be headed in that direction shortly.”
In a separate statement, FedEx Pilots said FedEx customers “should be planning alternative means in the event pilots must strike.”
FedEx Potential Strike Adds To UPS Labor Issues
The ongoing labor negotiation between The Teamsters and UPS is presents yet another possibility of a small parcel carrier strike this summer if an agreement cannot be reached soon.
These labor issues among the two largest private carriers raise concerns for shippers, as the potential strikes could have far-reaching implications, potentially disrupting shipments nationwide for weeks.
If one or both strikes occur later in the year, the U.S. Post Office, despite frustrating some shippers, has the potential to become a vital lifeline for small merchants.
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