In June, a group of FedEx (FDX) Pilots sit in front of the giant parcel-delivery Air Operations Center in Memphis, Tennessee, protesting the lack of a contract.
The pilots were expressing dissatisfaction with the pace of negotiations on a deal to improve wages, retirement benefits and quality of life issues.
Months passed, seasons changed, but that outcry came to nothing and now, with the holiday shopping season beginning soon, the pilots have chosen a new location to make their voices heard: the New York Stock Exchange.
Representatives said FedEx Express pilots, along with crew members and supporters, held a “media sit-in” in front of the venerable location on September 26.
Feeling more frustrated
The pilots, represented by the International Airline Pilots Association, have been negotiating a new contract since May 2021.
“FedEx pilots are growing increasingly frustrated with each passing day without an agreement, and with peak shipping season approaching, it is imperative that management is fully committed to finding a new pilot contract,” Captain Chris Norman, FedEx ALPA Master President and Executive Board said in a statement.
“Our pilots have been serving the world on time for years, and now is the time for the company to recognize that,” Norman said. “FedEx’s future success depends on an industry-leading pilot contract now.”
“FedEx pilots meeting before today’s media sit-in on Wall Street,” the group wrote on Twitter. “#Now is the time For FedEx to recognize the role we played in its success and growth. Now is the time for corporate leaders to recognize our collective contributions through an industry-leading contract.”
FedEx issued a statement saying that “the collective bargaining agreement between FedEx and its pilots becomes amendable in November 2021.”
“The parties have negotiated since May 2021 and made significant progress towards a new agreement,” the statement said. “These negotiations are a normal part of our business and have no impact on our services, as we continue to provide our services to our clients around the world.”
“Tackling These Headwinds”
FedEx said it will “continue to negotiate in good faith with our pilots and is committed to reaching a fair agreement for our pilots, other members of our team, and all other stakeholders.”
Earlier this month, FedEx issued a surprise earnings warning, citing weak parcel volumes that accelerated during the summer months.
The company withdrew its full-year guidance and its expected fiscal first-quarter earnings are well below Wall Street consensus.
“Global volumes declined as macroeconomic trends worsened significantly later in the quarter, both internationally and in the US. We are rapidly dealing with these headwinds,” said CEO Raj Subramaniam, “but given the speed with which conditions have changed, The first quarter results are less than our expectations. . “
Several Wall Street analysts have lowered the company’s price target, including Deutsche Bank analyst Amit Mehrotra, who lowered his price target on FedEx to $190 from $320, while maintaining the stock’s buy rating.
“We are disappointed that the company has taken little responsibility for the recent disappointing earnings and outlook, instead attributing the seemingly complete shortfall to the overall weakness,” Mehrotra said in a research note.
The analyst said he found it hard to believe that the $500 million drop in profits had manifested in just one month. Rather, it is believed to be “an indication of a delayed response to the risks that should have been anticipated”.
FedEx pilots aren’t the only ones dealing with contract issues.
Delta Airlines (DA) The pilots reached a milestone in their contract negotiations on September 26, marking the 1,000th day since their contract became subject to change on December 31, 2019.
Union officials said the pilots are working under a contract that went into effect in 2016.
“Delta has invested billions in share buybacks, foreign carriers and wholly owned subsidiaries as well as rewarding our fellow employees with pay increases,” Capt. Jason Ambrosi, Chairman of Delta Alba’s Chief Executive Board, said in a statement. The management commends the pilots for their leadership. At the same time, we continue to operate under the wage rates, working conditions and benefits negotiated six years ago.”
Delta said that earlier this year, Delta, Alba and a representative from the National Mediation Board resumed contract negotiations that had been paused for nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our goal remains to continue to provide Delta pilots with an industry-leading comprehensive contract with the best compensation based on salary, retirement and profit sharing,” the airline said. “We are also committed to ensuring that contract language underpins our ability to run a world-class operation, maintain a strong balance sheet, and invest in our business for our customers and employees alike.”
Last month, a massive rail strike was averted when President Joe Biden announced a tentative deal