April 2, 2010: The Teamsters Union and UPS are backing legislation that would make it easier for FedEx workers to join our union.
For years FedEx has used its lobbying muscle to be classified as an airline. This puts FedEx under the Railway Labor Act, which makes it much harder for workers to organize.
Every other freight and parcel carrier—including UPS—is covered by the National Labor Relations Act.
The Teamsters and UPS are jointly backing legislation that would close the FedEx loophole. This reform was passed by the House last year as part of much broader legislation—the FAA Reauthorization Act. But the Senate version of the bill kept the FedEx loophole intact.
The differences now have to be worked out between the two houses of Congress.
Employees are paying the price for the FedEx loophole. FedEx workers are paid less per hour than comparable UPS Teamsters—and FedEx contributes much less an hour toward their benefits.
Closing the FedEx loophole will make it easier for FedEx workers to get the pay and benefits they deserve. It will also protect UPS Teamsters in contract negotiations where the company always points to the lower wages and benefits paid by the nonunion competition.
Our union needs to step up the grassroots pressure on politicians to pass this important legislation. Teamster members need to be ready to do our part.