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FedUp: First (Of Many?) FedEx Freight Driver Unit Votes to Unionize With Teamsters

Fedex Freight Teamsters union

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At the FedEx Freight Terminal in East Philadelphia, a group of 47 drivers have made history by voting to join Teamsters Local 107.  The final result of the vote was 26-18 in favor of joining the union.  Several similar campaigns are underway in other cities, but this was the first successful Fedex Freight worker vote.

In a statement, Teamsters General president James Hoffa said:

“The drivers are fed up with FedEx Freight.  These workers are tired of management talking down to them at every chance, and they want decent benefits, including more affordable health insurance. They also want consistent and fair working conditions and a more hopeful future. This is why thousands of freight workers at FedEx Freight and Con-way are turning to the Teamsters Union.”

One of the East Philadelphia drivers, Gary Loftus, explained why the drivers were in favor of the union, saying, “We are tired of getting treated with disrespect and dealing with constantly changing unfair and unwritten work rules.  We also want job security and to be valued for the work we do making FedEx Freight successful.”

The movement to unionize at FedEx Freight and Con-Way has already yielded positive results for the drivers involved.  Just days after the Local 107 organizing campaign was announced the company gave its drivers an 80 cent-per-hour raise and got rid of punitive scorecards which the drivers had complained about.  At Con-Way the announcement of an organizing campaign caused the company to announce it would increase truck driver pay by $60 million in 2015 and meet other driver demands.  

Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division, touched on the impact of collective action:

“It seems more than mere coincidence that these two companies have announced significant pay increases just as hundreds of workers across the U.S. are approaching our local unions seeking representation.  The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management. Workers now realize the only way to achieve meaningful change in the workplace is to get it in writing in a binding contract.”

The victory in Philadelphia provides both momentum and hope for drivers across the country hoping to unionize. Bill Hamilton, Teamsters Union International Vice President and President of Local 107, sees Philadelphia as a building block:

“I am so 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.  I am proud of the workers and how they remained focused. Their energy and commitment will propel this campaign in the coming weeks and months.”


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