July 10, 2017

FedEx Freight drivers in Charlotte vote to decertify Teamsters

FedEx unit's drivers in east Philadelphia to vote next week on decertification.

By DC Velocity Staff

About 200 unionized FedEx Freight drivers in Charlotte voted on Friday to decertify the Teamsters union as their bargaining unit, according to the less-than-truckload (LTL) unit of Memphis-based FedEx Corp.

The vote by city and over-the-road drivers comes about two-and-a-half years after drivers there voted to be represented by Teamster Local 71, which has 2,400 members, according to information on its website.

The company and the Teamsters have spent the past 11 months trying to reach a collective bargaining agreement. According to an anti-union Facebook page, there were complaints that the union's proposals would give workers less than what they currently have. However, there were also posts from employees or spouses who said that FedEx's benefits, especially for health care, were better than at the spouse's employer.

In a statement Friday, FedEx Freight said it "was pleased with these results and continue to believe that our thriving, competitive work environment provides a more flexible, team-oriented, and customer-focused work model than the union can offer." A spokesman at the Teamsters international unit in Washington declined comment.

For the Teamsters, the next shoe may drop on July 19 when about 45 FedEx Freight drivers in Croydon, Pa., east of Philadelphia, vote on whether to decertify the union. The Croydon service center was the first service center in the unit's system to vote for union representation, which occurred in October 2014.

Of FedEx's three business units, only pilots at its FedEx Express air and international unit are unionized. FedEx's ground delivery unit is nonunion, and its drivers are independent contractors. There have been several unsuccessful efforts to organize at FedEx Freight. FedEx has long opposed the presence of third-party bargaining units, saying its business model renders them irrelevant.

Of the 16 petitions filed to represent workers at FedEx Freight, the Teamsters either lost or withdrew 12 of them. Besides Croydon and Charlotte, workers in South Brunswick, N.J. and Stockton, Calif. have voted for union representation. Locals in the four cities are engaged in contract talks with the company.

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