The FedEx Master Executive Council, the governing body of the delivery firm's unit in the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), said on Monday it had elected Billy Wilson as its new chair after union members rejected a tentative contract with the company in July.

The National Mediation Board affirmed its offer to convene an initial bargaining session between ALPA and FedEx management in Memphis on Nov. 6-7, the union told Reuters in an email.

FedEx did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The tentative FedEx deal rejected by pilots included a 30% pay rise over four and a half years and a 30% increase to their legacy pensions, according to ALPA.

Wilson has called for compensation that is commensurate with pilots at other airlines, where commercial pilots have won significant raises, reflecting their bargaining power in an era of staff shortages.

American Airlines pilots, represented by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), in August ratified a deal that raises their compensation by more 46% over the four-year duration of their contract.

Meanwhile, FedEx rival United Parcel Service is offering early retirement to pilots amid slumping demand for the industry's fastest, air-based delivery services.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

By Lisa Baertlein