Sunday, May 25, 2008

Questions & Answers

The Following is from the New FedEx Mechanics Website, which pertains to all FedEx Corp. Divisions who would like to Organize:

Q: How Can The Teamsters Help Us To Secure Our Benefits and Turn Around The Benefit Loss Trend At FedEx?

In recent years we have seen a dramatic loss of our benefits. Incentive and bonus pay have been cut, we pay more for our health benefits and our defined benefit pension is being completely frozen for those of us on the payroll now and eliminated for all new hires. With a strong Teamsters union we will gain the ability to negotiate a binding, legally enforceable contract that protects our benefits and other work standards that we care about. All our top managers negotiate contracts to protect their standard of living—why shouldn’t we gain this same right for ourselves and our families?

Q. Why Are The Teamsters The Best Union For FedEx Express Employees?

The Teamsters are America’s largest and most powerful union with more than 1.4 million members in over 400 local unions across the country. The Teamsters represent more than 240,000 workers at UPS where workers in our craft have better pay, benefits and working conditions—all contained in a legally binding contract to protect these advantages. The Teamsters successfully represent over 18,000 mechanics who maintain and repair aircraft. The Teamsters successfully represent tens of thousands of ground service equipment, vehicle technicians and other mechanics in our class and craft. There is no other union with the experience, success and strength that the Teamster offer.

Q: How can forming a union give us an effective voice and control over our benefits and working conditions?

Once we form a union we gain an effective voice in our working conditions and benefits. That’s why we have adopted the slogan “United We Bargain, Divided We Beg.” With a union, management cannot legally make unilateral changes that decrease our benefits and make our working conditions worse. Any changes in our negotiated contract must be approved by us. When we form a union, the aviation mechanics, GSE’s, VT’s and other workers in our class and craft will determine our priorities, elect a negotiating committee and bargain with the company to make positive changes and to secure our existing benefits.

Q: Have Other FedEx Employees Formed Unions?

The FedEx Express pilots formed a union and have negotiated a contract that protects their benefits. While management has unilaterally changed our working conditions and benefits for the worse—the pilots have protected their working conditions and benefits through their binding union contract. In Europe FedEx is a highly unionized company and FedEx deals regularly with unions. European FedEx employees doing the kind of work we do have better benefits and working conditions! Why are we being treated like second class citizens?

Q: How much power do the Teamsters have to help us?

The Teamsters have vast resources that will place us on a more equal level with FedEx as we work to improve and secure our benefits and working conditions including:

* Researchers
* Negotiators
* Economic analysts
* Benefit experts
* A network of attorneys
* Organizers and campaigners
* Media experts
* Lobbyists
* Political action staff

The Teamsters have huge political capacity and a strong track record of getting things done on Capitol Hill. The Teamsters have the 4th largest union PAC fund and the 8th largest PAC fund of all PACS in America—giving us great political power.

The Teamsters can call upon the 6 million member Change to Win Coalition, a powerful US Coalition of some of the largest US unions. And the International Transport Federation, an international coalition of transportation unions representing 4.5 million members that include FedEx unions.

Q: What About Union Dues?

Union dues are 2.5 times our base rate of pay (base pay rate excludes all premium pay) once a month. For example, if a member’s base rate of pay is $28.13 (base rate for a Sr. AMT), his monthly dues rate will be 2.5 of that or $70.32 per month. We do not pay any dues until the first contract is ratified and there is no initiation fee or any other fees or assessments. The Teamsters is 100% funded by members—the Union accepts no money from outside sources in order to protect its integrity and independence. Union dues go directly to paying for the costs of running the union and representing members.

Q: How will the Teamsters protect my job from being outsourced?

The greatest threat to our job security is outsourcing. The Teamsters have negotiated strong scope language in many of their contracts that successfully protects jobs from outsourcing.

The Teamsters are waging a multi-faceted war on the outsourcing of jobs in this country, from the aviation industry to manufacturing plants. In the aviation industry in particular, thousands of jobs have been lost due to outsourcing practices that also often pose serious safety and homeland security risk. The Teamsters are working in Congress, in powerful coalitions, in policy forums and in the public arena to correct a system that haphazardly permits thousands of good, skilled jobs to be lost.

Q: What Is The Process For Forming A Union?

The law that covers our campaign to form a union is the Railway Labor Act. Here’s the process:

1. Gain Majority Support. We must talk to our co-workers and gain the support of the majority.
2. File An Application With the National Mediation Board. Once we collect enough signed authorization cards we can petition for an election with the National Mediation Board, a neutral governmental agency.
3. Scheduling the election. After we file the petition, the Board will verify the cards and order an election. The voters receive voting instructions through the mail and then can vote either by phone or by internet. Usually an election is held within 30 days after the petition is filed—but there are ways that the Company can slow down the process.
4. To win, the majority of workers in the class and craft unit must vote for a union. If a majority of the workers vote in the election, then the Board will certify the Union to be our collective bargaining representative if a majority of those ballots are cast in favor of the Union.
5. Determine Bargaining Priorities, Elect a Negotiating Committee and Begin Bargaining With FedEx Over Our Important Concerns

Q: What Can I Do and Not Do To Campaign For The Union?

It is your legal right to take action to form a union. However, you need to do your job 100% and not let your activities to form a union interfere with your work in any way. It is illegal for FedEx to interfere with your right to organize. You have the legal right to wear union insignia and talk about the union while at work(so long as you are permitted to talk with your co-worker about other subjects). The distribution of written materials should be done during break times or before or after work. If you feel that the Company is violating your freedom to form a union please call us immediately.

Q: Why Is FedEx Against Us Forming A Union?

During our campaign to form a union FedEx will spew misinformation about the Teamsters in order to get us to vote against our own self-interest. We understand that FedEx has even hired a special consultant to “keep the union out.” The bottom line is that FedEx would rather have total control of our pensions and health benefits rather than having to negotiate these items with us. We believe that forming a union will be good for FedEx because taking care of people first is the management philosophy that built this company. You don’t have to be against FedEx to be pro-union!

Q: What If I Am Harassed On The Job For Trying to Form A Union?

You have the right to organize under federal law! Click here to read about your rights and to download an incident report to document any company harassment.

Q: Who Else Has Joined The Teamsters Recently?

Since the beginning of this year, the Teamsters have welcomed more than 25,000 new members in industries important to us. In particular the Teamsters have organized over 10,000 UPS Freight workers and 9,000 United Airline mechanics and other related workers. If these groups can form a union—why can’t we?


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