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Teamsters win FedEx elections, local petition withdrawn

12.17.14

DECEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Teamsters win FedEx elections, local petition withdrawn

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 8th- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 229 in Lackawanna County, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia requesting the agency conduct a election after getting more than 65 percent of the workers at the Pocono FedEx facility to sign union authorization cards, however the union withdrew the petition just days before the agency was scheduled to conduct the representation election.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was reported that the IBT in Washington DC, has began to attempt to organize FedEx Ground Freight employees by conducting a national campaign to gain enough signatures of workers to petition the NLRB to conduct representation elections. The workers haul packages throughout the FedEx system. They do not deliver packages to customers homes and businesses.

FedEx is a competitor of UPS, which employees are represented by the IBT. The Union represents all drivers and warehouse workers. Also, the IBT has a separate CBA with UPS for their drivers of UPS Freight company, which was once called the Overnite Trucking Company. Overnite was once the largest nonunion trucking company in the nation.

The majority of FedEx workers are currently nonunion. The pilots of the company voted to be represented by the Airline Pilots Association (APA) International Union several years ago.

The IBT Local 107 in Philadelphia won the right to represent 47 drivers at FedEx East Philadelphia terminal in Croydon, Pennsylvania after the workers voted 26 for to 18 against being represented by Local 107 on October 14th in a NLRB conducted election.

“I am proud of these guys at the East Philadelphia terminal, who stayed strong and united despite the company spending truckloads of money to hire union-busters,” said William Hamilton, President and Principal Officer of Local 107.

IBT Local 229 and workers of the Pocono facility of FedEx had met over the past several months and each time more workers signed authorization cards that requested the NLRB conduct a election. Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct), at least 30 percent of the workforce unit must sign the cards before they can request a election.

A labor organization must receive 50 percent plus one of the participating eligible to vote employees in a NLRB conducted election to become their bargaining representative.

Charlie Miller, Business Representative of Local 229, told the newspaper the IBT wants a local to get around 70 percent of the FedEx workers to sign cards before they petition the NLRB for a election.

The NLRB was scheduled to conduct Representation Election at the Pocono facility on December 11th to determine if the workers want to be represented by the IBT for the purpose of collective bargaining, however Mr. Miller told the newspaper the Union felt they would not win the election at this time and withdrew the petition which will allow Local 229 to refile it in six months.

Meanwhile, on November 19th, approximately 222 drivers of FedEx at their Charlotte, North Carolina facility voted to become members of IBT Local 71 in a NLRB conducted election.

“Like the drivers in Philadelphia and in South Brunswick, New Jersey, who voted to join the Teamsters, the workers in Charlotte want to be treated fairly and they want to have consistent, fair work rules,” stated IBT Local 71 President Steve Bess.