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Message from the Chairman - 6/4/18
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Message from the Chairman - 6/4/18

 

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As I begin my term as your MEC Chairman, words cannot express how proud I am to be a FedEx pilot and how privileged I am to be your Chairman. I am especially honored that the MEC has put its trust in me by electing me to this important position. To the MEC and pilots, I will not let you down.

My experience as your MEC Vice Chairman allowed me to see the true character of this crew force. I have bragged about that character at every opportunity. I can honestly say, without reservation, that FedEx Express pilots are the most talented pilots in aviation, and more importantly your character is what sets you apart. Every time I asked you to step up, whether it be to help a charity, or to help a brother or sister in need, you jumped at the opportunity. You always exceeded expectations with no hesitation and no complaining. I am grateful for your sacrifice and unselfish acts of kindness.

I have witnessed firsthand the dedication and professionalism of the many ALPA pilot volunteers. There is a tremendous amount of hard work and sacrifice that our pilot volunteers and staff put forth to benefit each of us. To all the committee chairmen and their teams of volunteers and, of course, the ALPA staff, thank you. We have a lot of work ahead, and I can’t think of a better team. It’s clear that the greatest challenge before me is to rebuild our pilots’ confidence and trust. I simply ask that you give me a chance. We can’t repeat past mistakes when our unity was pretty much split down the middle.

Unity is and always will be the key component to success in everything we do. I know it will take time, but we can and we must become one unified group. I must come back to the character of this crew force. I know that if I can harness that character and get us to act as one, nothing can stop us. There is nothing we can’t achieve as long as we attack it together. We can no longer act as independent contractors slowly bleeding out as management takes advantage of our divide. Pause for a second and take in what’s happening to your working conditions and quality of life. All this is happening while we are distracted fighting each other. If we are to have any hope as a union, we must act as a union and come together as one for a common purpose. I ask that you give me a chance to earn your support and trust, understanding fully that I must earn both every day.

As a young man I was raised with the mantra of “deeds not words.” One of my core values is to always do the right thing. If there are times when we fall short, I commit to being open, taking responsibility for the problem and fixing it. Now it is my turn to show you my character through my actions. The path ahead is clear, and my plan is to tackle the issues that negatively impact all of us and work to improve upon them. My focus will be on improving our quality-of-life issues, scheduling, safety, training, and of course enforcing and defending the contract just to name a few. To have any hope of success, we have to ensure that we get our rightful share of the efficiency gains that management creates, and we have to make sure that FedEx does not get away with manufacturing efficiency gains at our sole expense. For instance, we’ve seen our schedules deteriorate because of management’s desire to eliminate inefficiency. The problem is that that deterioration came with a serious degradation of our quality of life. We know this to be true, but I am concerned that it continues to be under-reported and therefore under-valued in our engagements with management. We all need to change whatever thinking leads us to believe that fatigue during and after a trip is an acceptable condition. Fatigue should not be a reportable event – it should be a “must report” in my view. Otherwise, our interest in health and safety will not be properly served.

Management will argue that these efficiency gains are necessary to remain competitive as an industry leader. I want to publically state that I, too, want FedEx Express to be the greatest and most profitable company on the planet. Our management team is extremely talented with lofty goals. We should be extremely proud to work for an organization that has such desire to be the very best it can be. How many other companies have the brand and name recognition we have? However, let us never forget the role we play in building that brand every day. We do that with great pride, no matter the conditions, no matter the location, and no matter the time. My vision, however, is that the Association and the company rise up together, both benefiting from success. FedEx management would do well to recognize us as a partner, not a cost center to be managed and cut.  

To that end, I am confident that my interactions with management on many different levels will serve us well in the future. Collaboration with the company is good, but it must work both ways, and when management is out of line, it is my job to let them know. I recognize that being viewed as a valuable partner would be a huge paradigm shift for the company. I also recognize that the time to make that shift is now. I am extremely confident that doing so will elevate our great corporation to even greater heights. Unfortunately, I recognize that this ideal may never come to fruition, yet I remain hopeful. I remain hopeful because it would be a shame to lose such opportunity. As of now, the battle for respect continues. Moving forward, my priority will be to listen to you. I urge each of you to join me. Wear your lanyard and pin, roll up your sleeves, and help me with this effort. No one can do it alone. Let’s not choose to be against one another; let’s choose to be for one another representing the highest ideals as professional aviators, leading the way for generations to follow.

Thank you for all that you do, and I look forward to talking with you in the near future.

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Captain John Cardaci

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.

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