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Message from MEC Officers - 2/15/17
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Message from MEC Officers - 2/15/17

 

February 15, 2017

The Air Line Pilots Association first arrived at FedEx back in the late 1980s and early 90s, on the heels of our merger with Flying Tigers. Ultimately, ALPA membership included approximately 50–60% of our crew force. The circumstances were extremely challenging and virtually guaranteed our ultimate failure to bargain an acceptable agreement. Years passed before an agreement was provided by the independent FedEx Pilots Association (FPA) which got over the ratification threshold. You can hear many opinions about this particular agreement and the conditions under which it occurred. One thing that is absolutely true is that when this agreement was bargained, this pilot group was fragmented and fatigued from years of organizational challenges and disappointments.

We once again experienced similar division in our 2015 ratification outcome. The ratification process was accompanied by vigorous debate in our pilot group on the pros and cons of the tentative agreement. Subsequent to that outcome, we have watched as a number of our fellow pilots continued to display lanyards and lapel pins proclaiming their opposition to the agreement. We are working to return our pilot group to the solidarity displayed during various rallies and informational picketing events of the past. For that to be the case once again, we will obviously need to find common cause. We believe such a common cause presently exists.

When we were elected just prior to the attainment of the tentative agreement, it was our hope that we could hold a fragmented leadership team together and get this pilot group successfully to completion of the lengthy bargaining that had become so divisive. The TA was ratified by our pilot group, but much of the division remains.

We have done our best as your FDX MEC officers to bring our experience and personal beliefs about leadership into play. We absolutely believe that successful outcomes are dependent on good relationships, and those relationships must be built on trust and integrity. We have done our best to see that our organization lives up to that expectation. As a team we have committed to improving relationships with a multitude of key individuals and organizations, including FedEx management. These relationships matter if we are to accomplish our collective goals.

Over the last 18 months we have accomplished significant progress with FedEx management on a wide range of issues from discipline cases to much broader issues such as lithium battery transport and environmental safety concerns. As evidenced by our public acknowledgement when positive developments take place, we are willing to give credit when credit is due, but there is much to be done in all areas of our relationship with FedEx and other organizations. We will continue to advance our safety, security, and environmental concerns while pursuing contract enforcement efforts and better conditions across the board.

All that having been said, the most important group that we want continued improving relations with is you, our fellow FedEx pilots. We intend to do more to improve our internal relationships. We know from the kind words we hear when passing through the crew room that much of this effort does not go unappreciated, and for that we are extremely grateful. We know that the one primary issue that drove us to a 57% ratification, rather than a larger margin, was retirement. We recognize that many pilots had hoped for improvements in retirement that we were not achieved in the new agreement. Your elected representatives get it, and they are doing something about it. To that end, we have been involved for almost a year in an effort to fully research our retirement plan as it currently exists, and to explore possibilities that could enhance it. At our recent Meeting, the MEC authorized the addition of another consulting firm to our team of retirement researchers. We just received ALPA Executive Council approval to explore plan development with Cheiron Corporation. Cheiron is a cutting-edge retirement plan development firm, and they bring tremendous expertise to our project. In addition, we’re considering the addition of an equally accomplished accounting firm to the team as well, such that our research and development team will be formed and the development process will be fully underway. We are told that once the team is in place, it will take about four to six months to develop concepts for consideration. When we get to that point, your elected reps will determine if the outcome is worthy of further consideration. Should they decide the resulting plan development is worthwhile, then you will be informed as to the details and provided all the educational information we can muster in order to fully answer your questions.

Should we collectively decide that it would be in the best interests of the FedEx pilots to pursue this plan, we will approach FedEx management with a proposal to explore our options. We are hopeful that we can develop a plan that increases the value of our existing plan, as well as its security and durability. We have no way of knowing if FedEx management will embrace our efforts, but in any case it’s important for us to define our retirement goals and commit to a path forward. If we are successful, we will by the nature of the effort have created a potential win/win outcome for us and FedEx, enabling the possibility of an agreement outside Section 6 bargaining.

This should be of interest to all concerned.

Priority one is to bring you a plan worthy of consideration that improves our families’ retirements, and ultimately unite this crew force. We ask that you remain patient for a few more months while we continue our R&D effort. Then together we will all determine the path forward based on the findings.

We truly want to complete our tenure as your FDX MEC officers knowing that we accomplished something beneficial on all levels. We want our pilot group to find common cause once again, and set aside existing divisions and disunity.

For those of you that still wear your ALPA lanyards, the gesture does not go unappreciated by the volunteers and staff who work on your behalf each and every day. Thank you again for your support.

Respectfully,

Captain Chuck Dyer
MEC Chairman

Captain John Cardaci
MEC Vice Chairman

First Officer Rich Zins
MEC Secretary Treasurer

 

 
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