FedEx, Pilots mediated talks proceed...

Dav8tor

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FedEx, pilots mediated talks proceed
Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:56 PM ET


CHICAGO (Reuters) - FedEx Corp. <FDX.N> and the union representing its 4,500 pilots opened federally mediated negotiations this week to try to break a stalemate after 20 months of talks, spokesmen from both sides said on Friday.
FedEx and the Air Line Pilots Association started Monday with contract talks overseen by the National Mediation Board, concluding a first round of discussions Thursday. No new dates have been set, though Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx expects a meeting in December.
FedEx went to the NMB after the pilots union rejected two contract offers without a vote, spokesman Maury Lane said. The proposals would have raised the average pilot salary to more than $200,000 per year, from about $176,000, he said.
"It was clear that it was time to have the NMB step in and use their expertise to help us complete the process," Lane said.
The pilots see work rules, job security, retirement and health care as the main sticking points to reaching an agreement to replace the contract that became amendable in 2004, ALPA spokesman Scott Sherrin said.
"We are frustrated," Sherrin said. "FedEx management typically has been very opposed to organized labor. ... We understand what is happening in the rest of the industry, but given that FedEx reaps billions of dollars of profits every year, we see our requests as responsible."
Pilots on Friday planned informational picketing in a dozen U.S. cities. Talks began on a new deal in March 2004 to replace the contract that became amendable in May 2004.
 
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