FedEx Home Delivery Drivers in Massachusetts Vote to Join Teamsters

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by worldwide, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member

    WILMINGTON, Mass., Nov. 17. FedEx Home Delivery drivers at two locations in Wilmington, Massachusetts, voted 24-8 to overwhelmingly choose Teamsters Local 25 in Boston as their bargaining representative, as ballots they cast a month ago were counted today by the National Labor Relations Board.

    The workers are the first units in the FedEx Home Delivery system, a subsidiary of FedEx Ground, to win Teamster representation. Since 1988, the NLRB has ruled seven times that FedEx Ground and Home Delivery drivers are not independent contractors as the company alleges, giving them the right as employees to form a union.

    "This is a great day for these workers," said Sean O, President of Teamsters Local 25. "Their voice was finally heard despite every effort by FedEx to silence them. I look forward to securing a first contract for these drivers that will ensure they are treated like the employees both we and the company know they are."

    FedEx Ground employed stall tactics during the past month in an attempt to deny the drivers their federally protected right to join a union. Its final attempt was quashed when the NLRB refused to reconsider its ruling that ordered the October 20 representation election, paving the way for today's vote count.

    "This vote sends one clear and simple message to FedEx -- the free ride is over," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "These workers and this union will not stand idly by while FedEx rakes in profits and avoids its responsibilities to the workers and their communities by exploiting this phony independent contractor model."
     
  2. hoser

    hoser Industrial Slob

    Extremely irresponsible journalism to claim that FedEx intentionally "employed stall tactics in an attempt to deny the drivers their federallly protected right to join a union."

    Who the hell wrote this, a labour journal editorial board?
     
  3. Coldworld

    Coldworld Well-Known Member

    Its the beginning of the end...................
     
  4. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member

    Union makes inroads at FedEx
    Drivers at 2 sites vote for Teamsters
    By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff | November 18, 2006

    FedEx home delivery drivers at two Wilmington sites have voted to join Teamsters Local 25 in Boston, in a move labor leaders think could tip a 20-year effort to unionize the package delivery giant in their favor.

    Drivers voted 14 to 6 in one location and 10 to 2 in another, to affiliate with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, according to a National Labor Relations Board tally yesterday. The election was held Oct. 20, but votes couldn't be counted until the board upheld an NLRB staff ruling that the drivers were employees of the company's FedEx Ground unit, not independent contractors. FedEx appealed the ruling.

    Local 25 president Sean O said the Massachusetts vote, and the Nov. 8 board decision to deny the FedEx appeal, were "historic" milestones for the union. If the NLRB certifies the vote and Local 25 negotiates a contract for the Wilmington workers, it would be the first union representation for any of the 15,000 drivers that deliver FedEx packages from more than 500 sites across the country.

    "We've finally infiltrated FedEx with a solid victory," O said. "Now it's a matter of getting a strong contract that these employees deserve. We think this will inspire other locations around the country."

    FedEx, however, said it would lodge an objection to the certification and, if the vote is certified, would file a suit. Maury Lane , a company spokesman in Memphis, said union organizers in Wilmington used unfair tactics, though he declined to specify what they were.

    "The company will immediately begin the legal process of challenging the elections because of the Teamsters' objectionable conduct, which made a fair election impossible," Lane said.

    O denied unfair tactics were used. "Our organizers did everything by the book," he said, adding that FedEx officials "should look themselves in the mirror. They insulted and degraded people, and they lost."

    Past organizing attempts by home delivery drivers hinged on the issue of whether they are FedEx Ground employees or contractors. The company notes that they own their own trucks, but union officials counter that they are told what trucks to buy and what uniforms to wear.

    Unions have lost 44 out of 46 votes by FedEx drivers over the years, and in the two cases where they won, the locals were unable to negotiate contracts, Lane said. Petitions for the Wilmington elections were filed in July. And on Sept. 20, the NLRB staff in Boston issued an opinion that the drivers are employees, enabling the vote to go forward. FedEx filed a challenge to that decision with the labor board.

    "What basically was decided here is that FedEx exercises very substantial control over the employees and the way they perform their jobs," said Bob Redbord , deputy regional attorney at the Boston NLRB office. Redbord said the drivers work to FedEx schedules and follow FedEx driving and delivery guidelines.
     
  5. hoser

    hoser Industrial Slob

    Normally, I prefer to take more balanced and less reactionary views with news like this. But I really agree with you on this one, this significantly changes a big portion of FX's business. They now have to restructure their supplier contractor relationship for hourly unionized employees. This is huge, assuming they can get contracts off the ground...
     
  6. djbeckett

    djbeckett New Member

    Hoser, I agree with you. If the contracts get off the ground this will really shake things up at FDX. If the union contracts are signed, this could spread throughout the whole nation! This could really level out the playing field between UPS DHL and FDX! If the union prevails, FDX stock could really take a huge hit and UPS stock might actually shoot up!! UPS stockholders may finally get our long deserved return on our investment.
     
  7. Coldworld

    Coldworld Well-Known Member

    But look at the track record from other votes. Fedex is going to fight this to the death. They could just fire all of the drivers nationwide and start over. I really believe fred smith would sell fedex first than have union drivers. The union pilots at fedex are lucky because part of the deal when fred smith bought flying tigers was that the union at flying tigers would stay in place when rebranding. But remember a few years back when the pilots were talking about striking and a letter was sent to all pilots warning that they would never have a job if this happen. Even if this takes a long time to come true, its still having some bad press for them and lots of money in legal issues. I dont want any company to go under, including fedex. They do have living wage jobs at the freight and express sides and competion can be good, if their is fairness in the marketplace. I dont believe fred smith has one bone of integrity in his body.
     
  8. Coldworld

    Coldworld Well-Known Member

    Im sure UPS corporate is watching this very closely, and probably licking their chops. Or they might be saying Oh ****, this is bad. Having dhl, ups, fedex, and the post office all with some sort of union. This gives unstoppable barginning power. I wonder what going through our ceo's mind right now?
     
  9. hoser

    hoser Industrial Slob

    It won't be a HUGE shakeup, just a hit to their ground balance sheet for a few quarters. FX is held up by an extremely profitable (and larger) express division, a versatile trade networks entity, and FX Kinkos is sitting a lot better than UPS Store.

    You are correct, however, this would somewhat level out the playing field amongst UPS FX and DH with respect to their GROUND OP. But again, FX's gravy is in Express (which would become unionized the day Russia joins NATO; read; never), and there's no way in hell FX Ground would pay their employees the same rate as UPS. Not gonna happen. FX would rather cease and desist its ground ops than pay their ground employees more than express.

    I don't think Eskew is 'licking his chops'; that's not gonna happen until the whole FX opreation goes on strile (again, the NATO+Russia thing). But the latter point you make is an extremely valid one; the barganing power.

    And do remember people, how much does fx ground make up of FX's total operation? I don't know the number, but I know for a fact Express is significantly larger.
     
  10. BLACKBOX

    BLACKBOX Life is a Highway...

    One Word...........'lockout'!!
     
  11. hoser

    hoser Industrial Slob

    i don't think you can lock out employees after they vote to cerfity.