March 25, 2009: FedEx Corp is threatening to cancel the purchase of billions of dollars worth of new Boeing Co cargo planes if Congress passes a law that would make it easier for unions to organize at the package-delivery company, the Wall Street Journal said.
FedEx may cancel plans to buy as many as 30 new Boeing planes should Congress pass a bill that would remove truck drivers, couriers and other employees at FedEx's Express unit from the jurisdiction of the federal Railway Labor Act of 1926, the paper cited the company spokesman as saying.
In January, FedEx said its express unit exercised options to buy 15 more Boeing 777 freighters, worth $3.75 billion at list prices.
However, the company deferred delivery of some of the planes as the U.S. economy faces a bleak outlook.
FedEx's actions raise the stakes in an increasingly bitter battle involving chief rival, United Parcel Service Inc, and the Teamsters union, which has been trying for years to organize at FedEx, the Journal said.
FedEx and Boeing could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.