MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The nation's top political and business leaders are very concerned over what the coronavirus will do to our economy. While there could be massive layoffs for some companies, Memphis-based FedEx says its business is ramping up.
Time is running out.
That's the dire warning the CEOs of the nation's airlines gave Congress this weekend.
They urged lawmakers to pass payroll protection grants of at least $29 billion to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of airline workers.
The coronavirus outbreak forced countries to enact travel bans and has led millions to avoid flying for fear of catching the virus.
While the passenger carriers fight for survival, it's a different story for their cargo counterparts.
“FedEx is not expecting any layoffs at all,” said Frederick Smith, the CEO and chairman of FedEx. “Quite contrary, our people are working very heavily on both the business-to-business side, moving things for hospitals, diagnostic labs, picking up specimens and getting them into the various locations when they can be tested.”
Smith says even though one of his senior executives signed the letter to Congress, he says he doesn’t anticipate FedEx will need any federal financial support.
"I don't think so at this point. It would only be available, needed by FedEx and all the cargo industry if things really get bad and then only in the form of loan guarantees," said Smith.
He says FedEx, which had its own coronavirus scare last week after a worker tested positive, is doing all it can to keep its workers safe.
"We're doing absolutely everything we can, cleaning our facilities prolifically," Smith said. "We cleaned the building. We have lots of people working from home."
Smith expressed optimism about the future, noting that most major production had returned to China.
Perhaps a glimpse of light in a dark time.