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FedEx Pilots Reject Labor Contract

March 12, 1998

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Federal Express pilots worried that work-rule changes could mean more work for little or no additional pay have rejected a proposed labor contract with the cargo airline.

The Federal Express Pilots Association rejected the contract Wednesday by a vote of 1,322 to 1,023. The union’s board of directors and negotiating committee had recommended approval.

Union President Mike Akin and FedEx officials wouldn’t say if new talks were planned.

The pilots have been haggling with FedEx over a contract for several years. The contract would have been the first for the company’s 3,400 pilots.

Federal Express has long opposed unionization of its work force, and the fliers are the company’s only domestic employees represented by a union. FedEx fliers staff a variety of aircraft, from jumbo jets to much smaller planes. Annual salaries range from $45,000 to $200,000.

No immediate effect on operations was expected because of the vote, said David Hoppin of MergeGlobal, an air cargo consulting firm.

``All we’re seeing is another act in a long-running play,″ he said. ``The pilots have not been successful in getting a leadership installed that can negotiate a contract that’s acceptable to the rank-in-file.″

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