FedEx is preparing a new marketing campaign that launches Tuesday against federal legislation that could help FedEx employees more easily join a union. And FedEx claims that UPS is a driving force behind the bill that changes which labor act FedEx must operate under.
The bill in question would move FedEx Express from under the Railway Labor Act and instead put it under jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act. The Railway Labor Act was put in place to stop possible service interruptions in railway delivery of goods. It was later expanded to include airlines and that’s what FedEx started under in the 70s.
In this new multimillion-dollar campaign, FedEx will refer to the legislation as a “Brown” bailout, since unionizing could increase FedEx’s expenses and therefore giving UPS an edge in lowering the pricing gap between the two companies’ services. Right now, FedEx Express employees would have to unionize nationwide. But under the more union-friendly NLRA, FedEx employees can unionize in separate locations instead of needing a national election.
FedEx claims that FedEx Express is best classified under the RLA:
Since the company’s founding in 1971, FedEx Express has remained under the jurisdiction of the RLA. We firmly believe that is the proper classification for our company. Unlike our competition, we operate an integrated air/ground network and handle air shipments separately in that network. RLA jurisdiction gives us the best opportunity to deliver reliable, uninterrupted service to customers. It is that superior service that has allowed us to grow in spite of the best efforts of a larger, more profitable competitor — UPS. Their current lobbying campaign, working hand-in-hand with the Teamsters, is another attempt by UPS to gain a competitive advantage that they have been unable to gain through their service performance.
The marketing campaign launches Tuesday and includes a web site — BrownBailout.com — and spots on radio and television.
image: Zuma Press