Bill Makes It Easier To Unionize at FedEx
Bill makes it easier to unionize at FedEx
The House of Representatives passed a bill 277-136 that would make it
easier for unions to organize FedEx workers, prompting FedEx to renew
its threat to hold off buying billions of dollars of new planes if the
bill becomes law.
Supporters of the bill, including the Teamsters union and FedEx's
biggest rival, UPS, applauded the vote. But the bill faces a difficult
climb in the Senate, where a similar House measure died in 2007.
The vote is the latest chapter in a battle over whether some 100,000
FedEx Express drivers and other employees should remain governed by
the federal Railway Labor Act, written decades ago to limit strikes at
railroads and airline companies. The Railway Labor Act requires
companywide employee votes on labor representation.
The House bill would remove the drivers from the Railway Labor Act's
jurisdiction and put them under the authority of the National Labor
Relations Act, which lets unions organize companies on a location-by-
UPS, which is unionized, is governed by the National Labor Relations
Act. The reason is a quirk of history: FedEx was initially formed as
an airline, Federal Express; UPS started as a trucking company, United
Parcel Service. Today, both companies operate their own airlines and
UPS, which has its airline headquarters and main air hub in
Louisville, argues that the current law places it at a competitive
disadvantage. FedEx spokesman Maury Lane called the bill a
"legislative bailout" for "profit-laden UPS."
All but four of 244 Democrats voted for the bill, and 132 of 169
Republicans opposed it.