Vice Chairman's Message - 6/30/20
Vice Chairman's Message - 6/30/20


June 30, 2020
“If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.” —The Story of B, Daniel Quinn 
To say the last five months have been challenging would be a gross understatement. Coronavirus, hotel room isolation, lack of food choice, endless revisions and extensions, multiple leg operational jumpseats, record extra flying, limited ability for fresh air and exercise, limited social interaction, managing an endless stream of FCIFs and country rules, insanely long CIQ processing, late or no hotel reservations and deadhead flight reservations, protests and civil disturbance . . . Let’s be clear: Our current environment is the pot of slowly heated water. We are the frog. 
The added work stress, not to mention home stress, should not be taken lightly. I know we are the best pilots in the industry, flying the most challenging route structure in the world. Management has told us such. That’s on a normal day. We are so far from normal at this point, I am not sure we would recognize it. The potential for physical and mental stress is apparent. With stress comes fatigue. We have all been around long enough to know that fatigue bends metal and, worse, kills. 
What can we do? Your union has been working constantly to try to alleviate this pressure. In some cases, we have been able to convince flight management to move the needle. We have negotiated three separate OIM and MOUs to deal with COVID-19 issues. In other cases, management can clearly do more. For our part, we will not stop until we are back to normal. We will continue to advocate for them to make positive change, regardless of how hard or expensive it is. What can you do? First and foremost, remember the IMSAFE checklist: Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue, Emotion. If you do not feel fit to fly, you aren’t.
We have an extensive volunteer group here, but a few should be highlighted during this extraordinary time. 
Professional Standards is standing by to assist with conflict resolution, or if you have potential ethical issues. It is highly encouraged that you reach out to this group before you engage management. Many issues can be solved at this more discreet level. Read more about Professional Standards and what they do. 
Your Fatigue Risk Management Committee is working hard evaluating pairings for fatiguing segments and working with their company counterparts to make changes. Learn more about filing a fatigue report, how to call in fatigued ( CARMA checklist), and what happens when you call in fatigued.  
PATH (Pilot Assistance Team Hotline) is available 24/7/365 at 866-FDX-ALPA. They have resources to help with physiological, psychological, or medical assistance. All calls are confidential.
First and foremost, we want you to be safe and healthy before, during and after your trips. Please look out for one another, especially during these times of extra stress and uncertainty. If you experience a condition or trend which you believe jeopardizes safety or your well-being, please use the resources highlighted above.
In unity,
Bill Hubbell 
FDX MEC Vice Chairman