FedEx pilots hold informational demonstration - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

FedEx pilots hold informational demonstration

Hours after FedEx shareholders met in Memphis on Monday to discuss record earnings, FedEx pilots held a demonstration outside the company's Air Operations Center, airing their concerns over the pace of contract negotiations.

Hundreds of the company's nearly 4,500 pilots, from as far away as Los Angeles and Alaska, lined up for blocks on Democrat Road, carrying signs showing concern over contract negotiations. The Air Line Pilot's Association is now in its 18th month of contract negotiations with FedEx. The key sticking points according to the union... job security, pension security, and healthcare.

"If management would come to the table and negotiate honestly and fairly, and do what their supposed to do, and bring proposals to the table that matter and that we could negotiate off of, then things would get over a lot faster," said Welsey Reed of the Air Line Pilots Association. "We wouldn't be out here demonstrating or picketing."

FedEx officials say the pilots are holding negotiations up.

"We want nothing more than to get this done as quickly as possible," said Kristin Krause, spokesperson for FedEx. "We actually offered them a contract in May that would have ended it right then, but they chose not to vote on it."

Despite the FedEx offer of nearly a half billion dollars in raises and bonuses, pilots say the company offer didn't address their concerns over pension and healthcare benefits. David Webb of the Air Line Pilots Association said that is a cause for concern.

"The airline industry seems to be pursuing an opportunistic ravaging of employee benefits," Webb said.

FedEx officials say they're sensitive to the pilots' concerns, but they feel demonstrations like don't help the their cause.

"I think the seriousness should be shown at the negotiating table." Kruase said. "We would prefer that they channel their energy into working out an agreement, so we can end this process."

Union leaders said the possibility of a strike still looms should a deal not be worked out. Both sides admit the risk of a walk out is very low.

Powered by Frankly