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Teamsters Local 229 continues to monitor FedEx facility

01.15.15

JANUARY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Teamsters Local 229 continues to monitor FedEx facility

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, January 4th- Craig Pawlik, Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 229, O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, which represents IBT members in Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Wayne Counties and part of Monroe County of Northern Pennsylvania, told the newspaper his union withdrew the Representation Petition filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia in December because some of the union supporters employed at the FedEx facility in Monroe County changed their minds about being represented by the IBT.

In previous editions of the newspaper it was exclusively reported that Local 229 was attempting to represent FedEx workers employed at the company’s facility in Mount Pocono Township and the union filed a petition with the NLRB requesting the agency conduct an election to determine if the workers wanted to be represented by the IBT for the purpose of collective bargaining after more than 65 percent of the workforce signed union authorization cards.

The IBT in Washington DC, has began to attempt to organize FedEx Ground Freight employees. 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.

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.

IBT Local 229 and workers of the Pocono facility of FedEx had met over 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 election to become their bargaining representative.

However, after conducting a campaign leading-up to the NLRB scheduled election for December 11th, both Mr. Pawlik and Charlie Miller, Vice President and Business Representative of Local 229, determined that if the election was conducted on December 11th, the union would lose in the balloting count. Mr. Pawlik and Mr. Miller jointly were conducting the union campaign. Mr. Pawlik stated FedEx conducted a very anti-union campaign against the IBT, both he and Mr. Miller, and against Local 229. “Employees received a lot of negative information, some just made-up, about the union,” stated Mr. Pawlik.

Under NLRB rules should a labor organization lose a election one year must past before being able to file again requesting the agency conduct another election. Mr. Pawlik told the newspaper that they are continuing to monitor the situation at FedEx and should it appear the employees would be more likely to vote in favor of the IBT, they will refile the petition and request a election. By withdrawing the petition the union can request the agency conduct a election after six months from the date the petition was withdrawn.

Meanwhile, 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.

Also, 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.