Teamsters Union’s future target? FedEx

Integrators Misc Logistics QuickNews 17 comments

As most of you already know, The Teamsters union has reached a tentative agreement with DHL Express employees. As this month’s issue of Air Cargo World points out, it’s no secret that The Teamsters big future target is FedEx:

Obtaining a national agreement with the Express division would give an enormous boost to the Teamsters, which has been losing members of late.

According to Welker, there are roughly between 30,000 and 40,000 FedEx Express drivers; 10,000 linehaul drivers and 6,000 to 7,000 aircraft mechanics. FedEx said those numbers were inaccurate, but declined to release their own.

Bringing together various employee groups under one master agreement seems tailor made for FedEx, which is largely non-union, said industry observers. The Air Line Pilots Association represents the pilots.

FedEx seemed unconcerned about the possibility of a large organizing drive for a national agreement by the Teamsters. “It is no great surprise that with declining revenues and membership numbers that the Teamsters would target FedEx,” said company spokesman Maury Lane. “So far, we have seen that the Teamsters will say and do anything to organize, despite FedEx’s record of winning multiple awards for being one of the best places to work around the globe.”

Still, the Teamsters could be targeting FedEx at the right time. The union has repeatedly challenged in court FedEx Ground’s practice of classifying its drivers as independent contractors. The California Supreme Court in late November refused to hear an appeal by the FedEx parcel division of state trial and appeals court rulings that the company should reimburse driver expenses because they are effectively company workers.

I don’t know what FedEx pays their drivers but I’ve always admired them as a company and the few people I know who work there seem to be very happy with the company. If that’s true on a global basis, as the spokesperson for FedEx claims to be, then even if The Teamsters succeed in convincing the courts that FedEx’s drivers are workers and not independent contractors they will still have an uphill battle convincing employees to unionize. All I can say is that The Teamsters seem to suddenly have their fingers in a lot of pies, so to speak. They are working with environmental groups targeting the clean air proposals at California ports that would force all drivers that call on the ports to be company drivers instead of owner operators, they have a tentative agreement with DHL Express, and they have been and will continue to target FedEx both in and out of court.

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  • armando April 3, 2008, 5:37 pm

    you’re right and you’re wrong. Fedex”s reputation as a people company is an antiquated notion, from 20 years ago. Presently they are cutthroat operators, doing anything to increase shareholder value, at the expense of their “People”. Another thing is that don’t count on that DHL contract until it is signed, until DHL lays off thousands of employees the first week of May. Cold stone lock.

  • alan September 9, 2008, 9:31 pm

    Armando. are you currently an employee of FedEx?

  • Christopher October 22, 2008, 8:21 am

    I am a FedEx driver. I am here to tell you we want the chance to vote. The total lie that is pushed by management is were all to happy to even want too. Dont you think if that was true FedEx wouldnt be spending millions of dollors in lawyers fees fighting every attempt for us to have a fair vote. Wake up and smell the crap being shoveled. Our health benifits just turned into crap for 2009. More cost to empployees and lot less coverage with a higher deductable. Those new savings in health care cost to FedEx go straight to our buddies on the Corp. Board and CEO. Bonus checks all around at the cost of our health care.

  • SwizStick October 22, 2008, 9:23 pm

    Re: health benefits

    Join the club. You think you’re the only one paying more for health benefits? Everyone, and I mean everyone, is paying more out of pocket with higher deductibles. And the money certainly isn’t going to the corporate board and CEO. Before you ask, no I don’t work for FedEx and never have. Just speaking from personal experience working for numerous companies and industries over the years. It’s a simple fact that health care costs are rising much faster than the rate of inflation and certainly faster than individuals and companies can keep up. Usually, not always (there are always some bad apples out there) it’s a hard balance to decide how much of the extra costs to absorb and how much to pass on to the employees.

  • mark November 30, 2008, 12:04 pm

    I currently working for fedex Express and it true that a balance between employees and corp must be agreed upon. We could be counted as one of the most productive workforce but neither our pay nor benefits get close to those of other less productive companies. So we need to review many things like working hours, unpaid breaks policy, monetary rewards, pay scale and so forth.

  • jerry January 11, 2009, 8:51 pm

    Fedex is full of crap. Ever since they got the mentality to get more money for the shareholders and less for courier. I hate fedex.

  • Bob March 6, 2009, 2:55 am

    Unpaid breaks, mandatory “extended breaks”, this is such bull. I am scheduled for 12 hours a day. 3 and a half hours I am scheduled to be “on break”. I can’t go more than 5 miles or 10 minutes from my location, but I have to be in uniform and ready to work. No raise this year, while our competitors earn what we call overtime hourly. It’s company wide. Who asked who, about what?

  • Fedup March 8, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Take kinkos they are training the employees there to do the same work as fedex front counter staff and guess what not near the same wage. Still think unions are not needed???

  • fred smith March 20, 2009, 9:52 am

    fedup is correct, these managers make up their own rules in order to make service and collect bonuses on the employees expense.Their way of not laying off people is firing an employee with an at will policy.No proof is needed their policy of fair treeatment is by policing themselves,who in their right mind will say they themselves are wrong-NOT fedex.policy should be nationwide not station to station. Do you think a union could help?It could’nt hurt!!!!

  • smartypants March 25, 2009, 3:05 pm

    Unbelievable – the amount of entitlement people demand. Start your own company if you dont like the one you work for. Quit complaining and get back to work. Union-ize FedEx? Disgusting.

  • Larry March 26, 2009, 8:04 pm

    I work for FedEx and came back after having worked for them previously. FedEx is without a union has much better benefits than its counterpart U.P.S. who is represented by the teamsters. For example; a material handler at FedEx starts at approx. $4.00 more per hour than U.P.S. At U.P.S. you get absolutely no benefits until being employed 12 months and your family is only included under the health plan after 15 months. At FedEx benefits start at 90 days (that includes family) and tuition reimbursement starts on day one. Lastly, at FedEx you can apply for promotions after 6 months and at U.P.S. you have to wait 1 year before moving to a better position. So, if having extra money taken out of your check for union dues and that greener grass you can keep it!!!

  • Hal Jorgensen April 9, 2009, 3:22 pm

    I work for FedEx as a courier and although I enjoy the work. i.e. being outside, driving, etc. The pay needs to improve. They need to be more competetive with UPS. We are driving the same size truck and doing the same duties and UPS is paying at least $6-7 more per hour. I am for the Union.

  • Paul December 12, 2009, 6:11 pm

    Without a Union, sooner or later, you will ALL get pissed on.

  • JEFFREY ZAPATA May 10, 2011, 11:01 pm


  • Dan May 26, 2011, 3:56 pm

    I agree Fedex use to be there for there workers and cared about there family’s now they dont care about anything but there bankroll. Fedex has hard workers and get done so wrong. I wish we could get a fair vote on the union. There are some fedex loctions in ohio that turn to the union. How can we get the same treatment?

  • Mike June 4, 2011, 4:52 am

    Why are the (used to be dedicated) Freight management people disappearing? And the National management people turning what used to be a GREAT company to work for, into a back hill slide down the toilet bowl, faster then the merge took place. I never seen any use for a Union until they (management) are trying to get rid of original freight city drivers? 1 more late lunch and they are going to fire me??? (it was never an issue for last 10 years) So yes now I see where a UNION can be beneficial. It isnt just that, but who will stand behind the driver and back him up??? Sure isnt Management there just looking for reasons to fire drivers over stupid petty ridiculous stuff.

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