March 23, 2010: The Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill yesterday, but excluded a provision that would make it easier for FedEx workers to unionize.
The Teamsters and UPS backed a bill that would level the playing field by putting FedEx under the same labor laws that cover UPS.
The passage of the Senate bill without this labor reform sets up a possible clash with the House bill.
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 a union. Every other freight and parcel carrier—including UPS—is covered by the National Labor Relations Act.
The Senate is expected to take up a 90-day extension while a final compromise is negotiated for a new bill.
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