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Fedex Truck Drivers at South Brunswick Terminal Unionize, Become Second Success Story

Will Conway be next?

Will Conway be next?

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At a South Brunswick, New Jersey terminal a majority of the 113 truck drivers for FedEx Freight have voted to join Teamsters Local 701.  The final tally was 66-42 and comes less than a month after drivers at the FedEx Freight Terminal in East Philadelphia made history by becoming the first group of drivers at FedEx Freight to unionize.  South Brunswick is the next domino in a national campaign to organize drivers not only at FedEx, but at Conway Freight as well.  

According to Ernie Soehl, President of Teamsters Local 701:

“The workers came to us looking for fairness after years of being mistreated and disrespected.  The company continued to disrespect the workers with its vicious lies during the anti-union campaign it waged, but the workers saw through this. In fact, we invited the terminal manager to debate the issues, but of course he didn’t show up.”

For many drivers, organizing with the union is the only way to improve work conditions.  Merely announing the union election at the East Philadelphia terminal resulted in a raise of 80 cents per hour and the end of scorecard that drivers felt were overly punitive.  At Conway, where an organizing campaign is also taking place, the company has promised $60 million more in driver pay for 2015.

But one-off concessions are no replacement for a union. As Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division, said in a statement:

“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 binding contract.  The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.”

FedEx Freight is “considering its options, including an appeal.” At least 10 elections are currently being pursued at other terminals, and two others have not gone the Teamsters’ way.  But Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa is confident:

“Once again, this victory shows that drivers are fed up with FedEx Freight.  The campaign is building momentum and we will work hard to win these workers the fairness, respect and dignity they deserve.”


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