October 28, 2016
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New Report Shows How a Legal Loophole Limits Union Organizing At FedEx Express


Posted by Ron Bigler, civilrights.org

As many as 100,000 workers who drive trucks and deliver packages for FedEx Express face unfair obstacles to organizing unions because the company has been misclassified under federal labor laws, according to a new report from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

The report, "Railroaded out of Their Rights," explores the history of FedEx Express' coverage under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), a 1920's era labor law that was intended to regulate the railroad and airline industries. FedEx Express has lobbied aggressively to remain covered under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), while similar package-delivery companies such as UPS are covered under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 

Under the RLA, a union must organize all the employees who do similar work throughout an entire company simultaneously, while under the NLRA workers can organize on a location-by-location basis. As a result, even if a majority of FedEx Express workers are in favor of a union at one location, they are denied the opportunity to bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

"Companies that provide a similar service and that are operated in a similar way should be treated similarly under the law," said Wade Henderson, President of The Leadership Conference.  "FedEx's opposition to being covered under the NLRA is not about corporate rivalry; it is about denying workers their civil right to be represented and protected by a union."

The Leadership Conference is urging members of Congress to enact the pending FAA Reauthorization Act with the language approved by the House of Representatives, which would place FedEx Express ground transportation employees under the NLRA and give them an equal opportunity to organize.

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