Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Union Attack on FedEx, and Shameful UPS Practices

by the Lone Front Ranger

While we all attended Health Care Rallies and Tea Parties this summer, another assault on our freedoms quietly happened behind the scenes. UPS used its significant clout with Congress to have its chief competition, FedEx placed further under Union control. UPS is doing this because they can’t compete with FedEx the old fashioned way: by running a more effective company. So they are counting on the power of the Federal Government to do it for them. Disgraceful.

They are doing this through H.R. 915: FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009. This Act sounds like it should be reauthorizing the FAA, right? But in the section called “Express Carrier Employee Protection”, the Act seeks to force FedEx to line up with UPS in the union category. And they are calling it “protection”?

UPS does a majority of its business with trucks, and uses air for support. At FedEx, it is the opposite. FedEx does the majority of its business with planes, and uses ground transportation for support. Consequently, FedEx is governed by the Railway Labor Act. This act governs airline-based businesses. UPS is governed by the National Labor Relations Act, which governs ground-based trucking businesses. And this Act would deliver FedEx right into the hands of the Teamsters.

Coincidentally, I’m sure, the Teamsters and UPS combined have donated more than $164,000 to the provision's House sponsor, Rep. James L. Oberstar, Minnesota Democrat.

FedEx is largely non-unionized. Their pilots are unionized, but the ground carriers are treated as independent contractors. According to FedEx President Frederick W. Smith, the pay and benefits for its drivers are, on average, higher than those of UPS drivers and that new FedEx drivers must wait only three months to be eligible for benefits whereas UPS drivers must wait a year.

So FedEx is competing without the same level of unionization, and the unions can’t wait to get their hands on FedEx.

How does this affect those of us who work for neither UPS nor FedEx? It’s simple: this is an assault on the freedom of American businesses to conduct lawful, profitable commerce, free from the thuggery of the Federal Government. This bill was extended for 90 days on September 30th and if it is not voted on within the 90-day window, it passes. You can follow this link, write your Congressman, and get involved. Don’t let this pass. It is not as expensive as the Health Care Bill and Cap and Trade, but if FedEx is vulnerable, who will be next?


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