By Ross Lenihan
As the holiday shopping season approaches, the importance of good, reliable shipping services becomes all the more apparent. However, not all shipping companies have been playing nice this year, and one of those is FedEx. As a result, the Teamsters recently announced the first-ever strike against FedEx in Southern California, bringing operations at FedEx’s Gardena terminal to a halt.
Over 80 FedEx freight drivers are protesting what they say is the company’s violation of federal labor law, specifically the right to unionize free of intimidation and harassment. In a press release announcing the strike, Randy Cammack, President of Teamsters Joint Council 42, stated, “These workers are tired of being mistreated by FedEx…the drivers’ actions are protected under federal labor law and we will do everything in our power to support them going forward.”
FedEx does have union employees. The 4,000 pilots that fly for FedEx Express recently reached a new six-year labor contract with the company. By contrast, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has over 200,000 union workers and retirees, and UPS has approximately 270,000 employees who work under a national master agreement as well as various supplemental agreements with local unions. So we know that unionized shipping companies that treat their workers well can also do well.
Here at Labor 411 we salute the hard-working FedEx drivers who simply want to exercise their rights to organize. And if you need a shipping alternative this holiday season, don’t forget about USPS or UPS. Because you can support good jobs with every package you ship this holiday season.
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