FedEx pilots spend a great day with the children and staff at Hope House in Memphis, Tenn. From left, Capts. Jay Osberg, John Cardaci, Don Ray, and Dave Chase.
During 2018, the FedEx Master Executive Council (MEC) continued its focus on improving and protecting the careers of the pilots of FedEx Express. Building on the extensive work done in 2017, the year began with an education campaign regarding the defined-benefit pension plan concept. Aware of the pilots’ desire to improve retirement, the MEC spent much of 2018 developing a full understanding of the new plan concept from industry and subject-matter experts.
In October, after thorough deliberation, the MEC directed the pilots’ Negotiating Committee to move forward with bargaining with FedEx management. “We’ve had our first bargaining session with management and presented our proposal,” said Capt. Pat May, the pilots’ Negotiating Committee chair. “This is a unique opportunity for us to bargain a significant retirement benefit without additional complications that are typically associated with Section 6 negotiations.”
The airline continued robust hiring in 2018, with more than 300 new hires being welcomed by the MEC’s Membership Committee. As a result of the continued hiring, the Membership Committee established a new Mentorship Program. “We know how difficult it can be to navigate through the first year as a new hire,” noted Capt. Vic Tansey, the Membership Committee chair. “This program was designed with the sole purpose of assisting new hires and helping them successfully navigate their probation period. Providing a mentor allows us to connect with our new hires on a more personal level than ever before.”
The past year presented legislative issues of particular importance to pilots—especially cargo pilots. MEC leaders focused considerable energy on legislative efforts. FedEx pilots were directly encouraged to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill, and they responded in a very effective fashion. The pilot group advocated for safer practices regarding the air transport of lithium batteries, fought to maintain the industry’s high safety and training standards for first officers, and pushed to ensure that two pilots remain in the cockpit.
The MEC, under the leadership of Capt. John Cardaci, MEC chair, launched a new “Quality of Life” initiative. “We formed this initiative to clearly illustrate issues that both positively and negatively impact our quality of life,” said Cardaci. “Day in and day out, our union—through the effort of our staff, committee volunteers, and block representatives—works hard to provide a valuable service to our pilots. We work to protect their livelihood and quality of life. This initiative is intended to highlight those efforts and point out where the company falls short in their obligation to our pilots.” The initiative is of particular importance regarding scheduling and fatigue mitigation issues as FedEx pilots continue to face some of the most difficult schedules in the industry.
Also last year, Capt. Joe DePete made history by becoming the first FedEx pilot to be elected ALPA president. He began his term in office on January 1.
The 4,879 FedEx Express pilots are spread across the globe, with eight councils located in four domiciles as well as pilots assigned to foreign duty in Hong Kong and Cologne, Germany. With more than 650 airports served worldwide, the airline has an extensive and varied fleet. FedEx delivers freight to more than 220 countries and territories, including every address in the United States.