A view of the conveyor belts that move packages for distribution at the FedEx Express World Hub. Photo by Andrea Morales for MLK50

FedEx refused to grant an interview or answer questions sent by email by MLK50: Justice Through Journalism for this story about worker safety at its FedEx Express World Hub. Instead, the company responded with a statement that did not address many of the questions and also included a statement from Shannon Brown, vice president of operations and chief diversity officer for FedEx Express.

We still have questions. If you’re a FedEx worker who has a story or if you know someone who does, share your story with us by email at memphis@propublica.org, call or text ‪(901) 300-6722‬, or send us a Facebook message.

Statement from Shannon Brown, senior vice president, operations and chief diversity officer, FedEx Express

“This is a tragic situation, and our most heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to the Young family. I started my career working at the hub, and I have family members working there currently. We do everything we can and make significant financial investments to help ensure the safety of our team members. This is a personal commitment of mine and one I am incredibly passionate about within our operation. While any accident is one too many, I strongly believe that the Memphis hub is a very safe place to work. We remain committed to employing new measures, educational programs and procedures.”

Company Statement

We remain saddened by the tragic loss of our team member, Duntate Young, and our thoughts are with his family.

FedEx Express management was on site at the hospital immediately after the incident and offered our condolences. We also reached out to the family on multiple occasions afterward to again offer condolences and seek an opportunity to discuss what happened. 

We fully cooperated with the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration throughout its investigation, and we have implemented and are continuing to implement measures to further enhance our safety measures and training. While we cannot comment about ongoing litigation, we will defend the lawsuit.

FedEx Express is an essential service to continue the movement of aid and commerce around the world, and we take that responsibility very seriously. The safety and well-being of our team members is our top priority, and we are committed to providing a safe and secure work environment for our team members.

All of our team members undergo extensive safety training during the onboarding process and receive regular updates and reinforcement from our management team. Before any team member, whether full-time or part-time, touches a package or piece of equipment, they undergo training through our safety programs. FedEx Express is always exploring and regularly implements measures to further enhance our safety and training.

‘Safety Above All’ has been a core company belief since our inception. We set exacting safety standards and protocols, many of which meet and many of which exceed Department of Transportation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Federal Aviation Administration requirements, and we spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on training for our employees.

Additionally, we annually invest millions of dollars in equipment and technology to prevent injuries and accidents, both on the ground and in the air, and we continually and proactively assess our operations for opportunities to further protect the health and safety of our team members.

FedEx Express added thousands of seasonal positions to help deliver the holidays this year. Positions include package handlers, drivers and other support positions, and many of those seasonal hires become full-time job opportunities as demand for our services grows and our networks expand. We are immensely proud of our workforce and their unwavering commitment to deliver for our customers and communities through this global crisis.

The Memphis hub is the nerve center of the global FedEx Express network, which delivers more than 6 million packages each business day in more than 220 countries and territories across the globe. We have as many as 8,000 team members working every day at the Memphis hub, safely handling millions of pounds of cargo and millions of packages each year.

FedEx Express has more than 75,000 fleet vehicles, 680 aircraft that serve more than 650 airports, and more than 250,000 team members at thousands of locations around the world. Ensuring the safety of the people in our global network—along with our customers—is of the utmost importance.

Through our companywide safety initiative, we continue to focus on the critical educational and management aspects of reducing injuries. We place particular emphasis on educating new hires, developing safety action plans and delivering safety education for team members at all levels. 

For more information on safety, please see our Global Citizenship Report. Safety starts on page 43.

Did you or someone you know work at FedEx or another warehouse or shipping company? We want to talk to you.

  • Did you feel well trained for your role?
  • Were you ever injured on the job? Did you report the injury? If yes, we’d like to know what steps were taken by supervisors to address the incident. 
  • Did you lose money or employment because of the injury? If yes, we’d like to know if you filed for workers’ compensation, short- or long-term disability, or state or federal unemployment benefits. 

To share a story with us, here’s how to get in touch:

Email: memphis@propublica.org 

Call or text ‪(901) 300-6722‬

Facebook message MLK50

Our team is also looking for documents. Do you have incident reports filed with FedEx, documentation of injuries on the job, or copies of applications for worker’s compensation, disability, or unemployment benefits? Read how to share that with us securely.

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