Teamsters Gain Support From Coakley for FedEx Express Carrier Legislation

Jan 15, 2010, 09:41 ET from Teamsters Local Union 25, Boston

Bill Would Level Playing Field In Package Delivery Industry

BOSTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Teamsters' fight for a level playing field for workers in the freight and package delivery industry received a major boost today when Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Martha Coakley signed on to support the Express Carrier Employee Protection Act.

"We are pleased that Martha Coakley is adding her strong voice of support for this very important legislation," said Teamsters Local 25 President Sean O'Brien. "She understands that FedEx has an unfair advantage in the industry, and workers at FedEx have long been denied the right to form a union. She has always been a strong supporter of organized labor and working families."

FedEx used its political influence to win a special deal from Congress in 1996, allowing the company to classify all FedEx Express workers under a labor law meant for airline and railroad employees, whether they touch an airplane or not. At all other package delivery companies, non-airline workers are under the National Labor Relations Act,

"This loophole has allowed FedEx to operate on an unfair playing field," O'Brien said. "Most workers at FedEx in the Boston area don't have anything to do with aircraft operations, yet they are trapped under the jurisdiction of the Railway Labor Act. These sorters, drivers, truck mechanics and package delivery drivers deserve the opportunity to join a union to improve their working conditions and benefits."

Coakley met with Teamsters at a UPS facility in Watertown, Mass., along with other members of Teamsters Local 25, the largest Teamsters local in the Boston area.

"As someone deeply committed to ensuring a level playing field for our workforce, I am pleased to support this legislation that will end FedEx's unfair ability to deny workers' rights," said Coakley.  "I support the fundamental values of fairness and opportunity for our hardworking men and women."

The Express Carrier Employee Protection Act is part of the FAA reauthorization bill that the Senate is expected to act on in the coming months.

"It is well past time to right the wrong of FedEx's loophole," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "Congress now seems inclined to restore fairness to the freight and package delivery industry. The House has voted overwhelmingly to apply one set of rules to all express delivery companies. The Teamsters Union urges the Senate to do the same so FedEx Express will have to treat non-airline workers the same way all of its competitors do -- under the National Labor Relations Act."

SOURCE Teamsters Local Union 25, Boston