If 71 package handlers at the FedEx Ground warehouse in Brockton, Massachusetts, win the union election scheduled for August 3, it will be the first time ever for package handlers at the giant non-union shipper. They’re facing a fierce anti-union campaign.
A top issue is poverty wages; all the workers are part-time, starting at $10.50 an hour with a maximum wage of $14.50 after four years. “Since there’s no seniority,” said one worker, “personal friends of managers typically get the full-time jobs or promotions.”
He said workers have to load packages that include 150-pound engine blocks, working in trailers that go down to 2 degrees in the winter and 115 in the summer.
Brockton workers looking to unionize contacted Teamsters Local 653 and signed up 75 percent of their co-workers. They kept the union drive hidden from management for months.
FedEx fights tooth and nail at the legislative and judicial levels to keep unions out, defending its misuse of “independent contractor” status for their drivers at FedEx Ground, for example. The practice places them outside the protection of numerous labor and employment laws.
The Senate passed a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration bill last year that excluded a provision making it easier for FedEx workers to unionize.
The Teamsters and UPS had supported a bill that would level the playing field by putting FedEx under the same labor laws that cover UPS. Since the legislative failing, the International union has shifted its attention to FedEx over-the-road drivers in the freight division.
Full Court Press
The company has flown in its top union-busting executives to Brockton, to try to kill the union with a sudden kindness not known before. Ninety percent of workers are black, and all supervisors were white. Now the white supervisors have been replaced by nice African American managers; the workers have been treated to cookouts and finally offered some basic benefits.
One worker said, “Before the union drive we had no health insurance, no vacation time, no sick days, no paid holidays, and we worked with broken and dilapidated equipment.”
With the union drive came (worthless) health insurance that’s offered after a year and a half, one week of vacation time, paid holidays, and brand-new equipment, the worker said.
At the same time, managers spread misinformation about unions to whip up fears. According to the FedEx worker, managers are organizing hour-long meetings with human resources, “reading off anti-union fliers every single day.”
Management harps on initiation fees and fines. But workers say the local charges no initiation fees to the first group unionizing, and no member of Local 653 has ever been fined.
Workers say managers have been flown in from all over the country to help beat the union, including the Eastern Division VP, who told everyone that “we have ways to keep the Teamsters out.”
Simply quitting and finding a better job is not an option. Brockton has one of the highest unemployment rates in Massachusetts, and the job market is only getting worse.
A union would enable workers to bargain for living-wage jobs in Brockton. And a victory at FedEx—the Wal-Mart of the trucking industry—could inspire other young workers to stand up to their bosses.
Supporters are holding solidarity actions at FedEx Office store locations in Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis, Madison, and four locations in Washington state this Saturday.
YA' SEE FELLA'S!! THE EAST COAST KIDS AREN'T AFRAID TO STAND UP!!! NEITHER SHOULD WE BE!!!!
ALL THE "SUDDEN ACTS OF KINDNESS" IS EXACTLY THE SAME KINDA CRAP THE REDSHIRTS PULL HERE!!
IT'LL BE PRETTY FUNNY TO SEE HOW MANY BBQ'S WE GET NOW THAT THE QUALITY OF LIFE SURVEY RESULTS ARE IN!! WORD AROUND THE CAMPFIRE IS THE RESULTS WEREN'T GOOD. WHICH IS GOOD FOR US BLUE COLLAR STIFFS, CUZ IT'S A SMALL WAKE-UP SHOT TO THE BIG WIGS THAT ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD, THAT THERE IS A VOICE OF DISCONTENMENT THAT IS GROWING AND SOON IT WILL GROW INTO THE TYPE OF BELLOWING YELL THAT PAUL FRIAR USES WHEN HE TRIES TO INTIMIDATE YOUNGER DRIVERS!!
THIS IS A VERY INSPIRING POST, PROPS TO YOU RUDEDOG. I AM PROUD TO CALL THESE EAST COAST KIDS MY BROTHERS, NOW WE'LL SEE IF THE WEST COAST CAN ANSWER THE CALL!!!
I see you guys are going after the weak at FedEx! the reason why the Union is going after FedEx is for the money! they want to dip their greedy dirty hands into the employee pension plan to fill their own pockets! Well FedEx can't get into our pension money! Every employee has their own separate account that the company can not take from. Good luck but you are getting no where!!!
The last time I talked hr to try to get out of your perfect 401k, she said I couldn't because it was fdx's money??? WTF!
No one, not even a union can cash in on your pension. This is typical corporate misinformation that you talk of. Most likely your a salary hack and probably commenting at your desk in your fdx office! Shame on you!
THAT WAS PROBABLY PAUL FRIAR POSTING AS ANONYMOUS.
YOU'RE JUST SHOWING YOUR IGNORANCE, REDSHIRT! HOW COULD WE POSSIBLY BE "WEAK", WHEN WE'RE ON THE FRONT-LINE IN THIS WAR ON CORPORATE GREED!!
GET BACK TO WASHING GREG'S TESTICLES, CUZ YOU WONT STOP THIS REVOLUTION!! PUTO!!
I defaulted on a 401k loan awhile back and had to pay my fair share of taxes to the irs. Now I want to take another loan from my 401k but vanguard says I need to pay back the last loan with interest! When I asked Vanguard who makes these decisions there. There answer was FedEx made these rule not them! Talk about greedy hands! You ought to do some homework Anonymous before you go around shooting off some bull shit fear tactics. Now back to work with you Ruppert and Fred are watching you!
(Quote; I see you guys are going after the weak at FedEx! the reason why the Union is going after FedEx is for the money! they want to dip their greedy dirty hands into the employee pension plan to fill their own pockets! Well FedEx can't get into our pension money! Every employee has their own separate account that the company can not take
from. Good luck but you are getting no where!! )
Hey Anonymous MORON, If you really got the Fucking Ball and really are sure about the union going after the money prove it and be a man, don't go under anonymous, if you got the Fact, state your name and be the Hero for FedEx.
thats right joe this red shirt coward types up bullshit from his office and talks shit out of his ass. these redshirts are real brave at work but i have never seen them come down to local 952 when we have a meeting to disprove anything. these supervisors are full of shit.
An Anonymous manager said:
". . .the reason why the Union is going after FedEx is for the money!"
Let's be honest, scumbag, that's the ONLY reason I work at Fedex.
Well, I'm also in it for the glory, but that doesn't really seem to impress the mortgage company. :-(
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