The Air Line Pilots Association members voted 57% against the tentative agreement with FedEx.

The deal would have provided pilots a 30% pay hike and a 30% increase to their legacy pensions.

Amidst a pilot shortage, U.S. pilot unions have been wielding greater influence during contract negotiations over the past year.

MEMPHIS — FedEx's provisional contract has been turned down by its pilots, signifying that discussions will recommence, most probably with the oversight of the National Mediation Board. Expressing their stance on the outcome, FedEx emphasized their commitment to unaffected service delivery.

Pilots under the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) banner, which represents 6,000 FedEx pilots, were vocal in their stance against the contract. Captain Chris Norman, the chair of FedEx ALPA, commented, "Our members have spoken and we will now regroup." Interestingly, the rejected agreement had proposed a considerable 30% hike in the pilots' salaries and their legacy pensions. However, ALPA refrained from elucidating the reasons behind the contract's decline.

As the aviation industry navigates the challenges of a pilot shortage and escalating demand, pilot unions, especially in the U.S., have found themselves in a strengthened bargaining position. This trend has been evident in recent union negotiations. For instance, a recent tentative agreement with United Airlines pilots, who are also represented by ALPA, might lead to an increase in their wages by as much as 40.2%. This has prompted American Airlines and the Allied Pilots Association to re-evaluate their initial agreement. An enhanced proposal from American Airlines even led its pilots to defer their ratification vote.

Simultaneously, FedEx's competitor, United Parcel Service (UPS), is engrossed in contractual talks with a massive workforce of 340,000 who are responsible for sorting and delivering packages. As the end of July approaches, the pressure mounts since their current contract is set to lapse. If these workers decide to strike, UPS pilots have declared their intention to join the stoppage.