FedEx Corporation (FDX  ) announced that its pilots have voted in favor of a strike to help their union win a new contract about pay raises. Per the Air Line Pilots Association, the voting procedure saw 99% of the total pilots cast their votes. Of them, 97% of pilots voted in favor of a strike if the need arises.

The pilots' union and Memphis, TN-based FedEx have been negotiating for two years (discussions have been ongoing since May 2021) over a new contract (with terms of the previous one still in effect). However, discussions entered the mediation phase in October 2022.

Unions believe that votes act as a catalyst at the bargaining table. Chris Norman, head of the union's FedEx, stated, "Our goal is to reach an agreement, not to strike. The ball is in management's court, and it's time for the company to get serious at the bargaining table and invest in our pilots.

Even though pilots have voted in favor of a strike, it is highly doubtful whether the same will materialize, as the law makes it extremely difficult. So, negotiations are likely to continue. The union hopes that this strike approval will exert pressure on FDX in ongoing negotiations. Naturally, we expect investors to eagerly wait for further updates on this crucial issue.

Notably, the bargaining power of pilots across the transportation sector has increased as air-travel demand is buoyant, having bounced back very strongly from the pandemic lows.

FedEx currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Transportation sector are Copa Holdings, S.A. (CPA  ) and Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT  ).

Copa Holdings, which currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), is aided by improved air-travel demand. Management expects the current-year load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) to be 85%, assuming the rosy traffic scenario continues.

For second-quarter and full-year 2023, CPA's earnings are expected to register 669% and 65% growth, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.

Allegiant, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), also benefits from the buoyant air-travel demand. With air-travel demand rising in the United States, operating revenues improved 8.5% year over year in 2022. Management expects revenues to remain strong in 2023. In first-quarter 2023, operating revenues increased 29.9% on a year-over-year basis.

For second-quarter and full-year 2023, ALGT's earnings are expected to register 328% and 182% growth, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.