Executive Council Statement

On the Service of Capt. Joe DePete

The AFL-CIO Executive Council recognizes the distinguished service of Capt. Joe DePete, former president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

Throughout his career, DePete has been a leading voice in the airline industry to make the pilot profession safer and more secure.

A pilot for FedEx Express for more than 32 years, DePete was exposed to a wide range of operational, safety and security challenges while transporting air cargo all over the world. He began his career serving our country as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps flying the C-130.

Prior to becoming ALPA’s 11th president in 2019, DePete held several elected positions, including first vice president and national safety coordinator, since joining the union in 1986.

DePete’s dedication ensured pilots had the necessary training and experience to make U.S. air transport the safest in the world. His advocacy helped advance safe and reasonable working conditions for his members, as well as opportunities for career advancement and fair compensation.

His leadership helped guide pilots through the devastating impact on the airline industry caused by COVID-19 by addressing the industry’s operational problems in support of passengers, pilots and other front-line workers who made extraordinary sacrifices during the pandemic.

DePete was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council in 2019, and his strong leadership and clear vision were tremendous assets on the International Affairs and Legislation/Policy committees.

Capt. Joe DePete has served America’s labor movement with honor and a deep commitment to working people, and we wish him well in his next endeavors.