Chairman's Message - 7/29/19
Chairman's Message - 7/29/19


Caution: A Crewmember Who Reads FOM Revision 68 Is Subject to Distraction
“One of the points about distractions is that everything that they do is destabilizing.” 
Bruce Sterling, author
Last week, FOM Revision 68 was released. There was a time when FedEx did not publish the revision highlights, making it more challenging to find the multitude of changes which must be known to operate our aircraft safely. One of the most difficult aspects of our job as professional pilots is keeping track of the multitude of sources of information and the changes to those sources. Fortunately, the FOM changes are now consolidated into this one document. Kudos.
However, as we all know, one of the most dangerous hazards in any endeavor, but particularly aviation, is a distraction. We shouldn’t discuss religion, politics, or other contentious issues on the flight deck for the obvious reason that it has the potential to distract from the critical tasks at hand. Why then would our employer see fit to add threats of termination to our Flight Operations Manual? Indeed, there’s nothing more distracting than that.
Previously, FedEx management unilaterally placed Appendix S into our Flight Operations Manual. At the time, they indicated this change was necessary to place these non-flight operational issues in the FOM so that you would not have to search out numerous documents to find out all the ways you can have your employment at FedEx terminated. One need look no further than the opening lines in the FOM where you are instructed that you are responsible for knowing the contents of the FOM. This declaration makes it all too clear that the actual reason for placing Appendix S in the FOM is to ensure you have no possibility of deniability should you cross one of these many lines. Management sadly determined that building a better case for your termination was more important than limiting distractions from our flight deck duties. 
Revision 68 contains eight additional threats of “termination,” which have no place in a Flight Operations Manual. That’s right, no fewer than eight more times, FOM Revision 68 offers the threat of termination. FedEx pilots are the most technically proficient and dedicated professionals in the world. We miss anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals, and more to deliver the Purple Promise. In return, all we ask is that we are compensated fairly and treated professionally. 
These threats, and those in Appendix S before, are insulting, and more importantly, distracting. FedEx management should remove Appendix S and make it a separate document immediately.  
Pete Harmon,  MEC Chairman