Monday, May 25, 2009

U.S. House Approves Legislation Fought by FedEx, Airlines

By John Hughes

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- FedEx Corp. truck drivers, package handlers and other employees would be able to join unions more easily under legislation the U.S. House approved today.

Workers in FedEx’s Express unit could vote locally to join unions under the plan rather than having to hold a national election to gain representation. The labor provision was included by Representative James Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat, in broader $53.5 billion legislation to finance the Federal Aviation Administration through fiscal 2012.

The 277-136 vote sets up a clash in the Senate between FedEx and larger competitor United Parcel Service Inc., which says the legislation would even the playing field with UPS’s union workforce. UPS workers organize under the National Labor Relations Act, which allows local organizing. FedEx operates under the national organizing standard used for airlines.

“The House of Representatives has done the right thing in closing this unfair loophole,” Teamsters President Jim Hoffa said in a statement. “FedEx Express workers have been deprived their right to form unions like workers at other package- delivery companies.”

The Senate hasn’t yet crafted its version of the bill. The House approved similar legislation in 2007 that wasn’t taken up by the Senate.


Now YOU must contact your states' U.S. senator and inform them of your support for this bill.

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