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Teamsters Locals Ain’t Nothin’ to Truck With: Third FedEx Freight Crew Votes to Unionize

via Teamsters Local 71

via Teamsters Local 71

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The campaign to unionize drivers at FedEx Freight and Conway forged ahead this week with another victorious vote, this time in North Carolina. 222 FedEx drivers at the Charlotte Terminal voted to join the Teamsters Local 71.  The successful election marked the third victory for the Teamsters union, which has also recently organized workers in East Philadelphia (Local 107) and South Brunswick, NJ (701).

In a statement, Teamsters Local 71 president Steve Bess praised the drivers:

“Like the drivers in Philadelphia and in South Brunswick, N.J., who voted to join the Teamsters, the workers in Charlotte want to be treated fairly and they want to have consistent, fair work rules.  The company ramped up its vicious anti-worker, anti-union campaign here, but the drivers remained strong and focused. Rather than lying to the workers, the company should use the money to provide better benefits for the workers and their families.”

The campaign has not only resulted in successful unionization votes, it has forced the trucking companies’ hands in terms of broad-based concessions. FedEx Freight announced drivers would receive an 80 cent per hour raise and would no longer be subject to punitive timecards.  At ConWay, management announced it would raise drivers’ pay by $60 million in the upcoming year. Both of these changes came immediately after the overarching unionization drive began.  

Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division, understands, however, that these concessions are not necessarily permanent, and are thus veiled attempts to stem the unionization tide:

“The companies are offering pay raises and other improvements at the same time we are organizing, but the workers know that these things can be taken away just as quickly without a legally binding contract.  The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.”

Following Local 71’s vote, Teamsters President Jim Hoffa issued the following statement:

“With these three victories, drivers are making it loud and clear to the company that they are fed up with FedEx Freight,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Our campaign continues to roll and FedEx Freight drivers are showing they will fight for fairness, respect and dignity.”


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