Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The FedEx Fight

UPS is a good company which treats its workers fairly, pays them a good solidly middle-class salary, and provides a decent array of benefits. FedEx on the other hand has a disengenuous scheme in which they treat full-time workers as independent contractors to avoid paying social security, other benefits, and forces them to pay their own gas expenses, buy their own uniforms, buy their own scanners, etc. The Teamsters are now getting press for the union drive they have launched at FedEx Ground. The NYTimes has more:

The fight in this quiet suburb of Worcester pits one of the nation's most powerful unions against one of the most successful companies, a company where not one of its 60,000 drivers is unionized.

<>"FedEx is an important target for us," said James P. Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which sees its effort here as a first step toward its goal of organizing the nearly 15,000 drivers in the FedEx Ground division. FedEx Ground, which delivers packages to homes and businesses in one to five days, is separate from FedEx's overnight air-delivery operation.
FedEx says that the union push is an anomaly and that the majority of the drivers are happy and oppose unionization. Mr. Hoffa, pointing out that the company has dismissed many union supporters here and elsewhere, says FedEx is using "anti-union tactics that come out of the 1930's."
The Teamsters and many drivers say FedEx's argument that the drivers are independent contractors is disingenuous nonsense. They say treating drivers as contractors saves FedEx hundreds of millions of dollars. It means that FedEx does not have to pay Social Security or workers' compensation taxes, and that the drivers, not FedEx, pay for the trucks, repairs, gasoline and tires.
"FedEx is attempting to prevent its drivers from receiving the benefits that employees receive under the law, including laws that bar discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability or other characteristics," said Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston lawyer who has sued FedEx on behalf of several drivers who were dismissed after becoming sick or injured.
Rejecting FedEx's position, the Boston office of the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that the drivers are employees and can vote on whether to unionize. But FedEx, which is making plans to appeal, maintains that the drivers are akin to independent businessmen because they make large investments in equipment — their trucks — and can choose their hours, hire helpers, build up their routes and sometimes buy additional routes.
Let's see how this plays out. Hopefully the FedEx Ground workers will soon have the same good treatment their Teamster brothers and sisters enjoy at UPS.


At 6/08/2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say briefly: Best! Useful information. Good job guys.

At 1/15/2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should visit www.fedexaminer.com for more information.


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