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Old 04-26-2018, 12:16 PM   #8  
Gets Weekends Off
PurpleToolBox's Avatar
Joined APC: Apr 2013
Posts: 846

Let's be honest about FedEx.

FedEx haa the WORST reserve system in the airline industry. If you are junior, it really really sucks. Everyday of reserve is a "short call" day which means you must be in Memphis (or your base). And if you are senior enough to get the one or two R24 lines, they'll probably call you into Memphis to sit hotel standby. Speaking of, FDX has hotel and airport standbys. Meaning, if you're not already in Memphis or base, they'll put you in hotels or make you sit at the airport. I think most of the majors got rid of that crap a long time ago. Somehow those airlines flying thousands of flights a day manage with their much better reserve system, but not FDX. For example, there's only a handful of 777 departures a day, but they'll have 30 people sitting short calls in Memphis. Why? And don't let a bunch of FDX pilots who were military wonders who haven't worked anywhere else tell you how great it is because they don't know what they don't know. Many regional pilots have better reserve systems/scheduling systems. And make no mistake, the senior bubbas aren't ever going to fix it because, "what will we have to give up to fix it? You choose to be junior."

The pay scales are also screwed up. FDX has neither the ALPA standard higher pay rates for the increased size of the airplane, or single pay rates like its main competitor UPS. Instead you have narrow body pay for 757 and wide body pay for everything else. So if you ever get stuck on or bid to the 757, just know that the industry has left you behind and you're either on the worst 757 pay scale as compared to the majors, or tied for it. BUT, you're most likely flying night hub turns which after a week of those is a real kick in the pants.

But but but but, some people will be quick to say that the 777 has some bennies built into the contact for the long flights over 8 and 12 hours. Yes, it does. However, it isn't enough to significantly change your W2 at the end of the year. Since the 777 has extremely little extra flying, you fly what you can hold, basic bid line guarantee, and there's little chances of working extra and making extra. Senior or hard working 757FOs can earn a lot more than the average 777FO. Yes, it's true.

Wait a second, you just said 757 pay scales suck. Yes, they do. And under certain ideal conditions and circumstances, some senior 757FOs can make bank but its going to fail your marriage or take a couple years off the end of your life doing it. Choose wisely.

There are little gotchas in the contract. For example, if you are removed from a trip, unlike the rest of the airline industry where you have guarantee pay and you go home, at FDX you get to play the substitution game. Seriously, you have to see this disaster of a schematic chart to figure out how/what you should do if you fall into substitution hell. If you look at that ridiculous chart, you'll see acronyms like RAT ... good luck ever finding that defined. (Shhhhh... it stands for reassignment trip). You have to read the contact and read between the lines to figure out that RAT is never defined anywhere.

Which comes to my next point. The union is damn near broken. As a new hire, unlike other unions out there, the union WILL NOT teach you anything about the contract. Contract education is nonexistent. This leads to problems for new hires because some of the language hasn't been implemented yet -- even after all this time. As a new hire, you utilize the new language not realizing it isn't active yet which can end with you in trouble with the company or in debt to them. The current contract seems like a contract with a band-aids on top of band-aids to fix the problems. However, if you haven't been around for the past two or three contracts, a lot of it doesn't make sense because you don't understand how it got that way.

So, unlike other unions, there are no educational contract videos. There's no powerpoint presentations. Yes, you can call into the main office and ask a contract question, good luck having them actually tell you the correct information. I know I'm on an epic rant here but that's the darn truth! I've had the company tell me better information than the union has. And if you ask someone about the contract, you'll probably get a "Call your sponsor!" response. As if those exist today.

Bidding for vacancies. FDX has the most complicated vacancy bidding system in the airline industry. We thought we were getting small monthly bids. No. Instead we still have large system bids. After being awarded a position, you then bid monthly on when you want to go to training. This system is overly complicated and means that you really have no idea when you might be going to training.

I can go on and on, but the grass isn't necessarily greener here at FedEx anymore. This isn't your late 90s early 2000s FedEx. The majors are back on their feet, they're earning as much if not more than FedEx. And they have profit sharing, FedEx employees and pilots do not. For example, in 2017, Delta Air Line employees shared $1.1 billion dollars in profit sharing.

Something to think about that they don't tell you at the FedEx meet and greet.
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