Teamsters argue that they make their companies uncompetitive

Posted by Marc Hodak on June 17, 2010 under Collectivist instinct | Be the First to Comment

An accident of history places Federal Express and UPS under different federal laws governing labor relations. UPS is under the National Labor Relations Act while FedEx is under the Railway Labor Act, which is slightly more forgiving in enabling one to resist a unions’ organizing campaign.  A bill in Congress is looking to level the playing field by allowing UPS to also be governed by the RLA.  Just kidding; could you imagine a Democratic Congress doing such a thing?

Of course, the Democrats in Congress, aka, the other union employees, are trying to pull FedEx under the NLRA.  It’s easy to see why UPS would be lobbying hard for such a change.  They know that they are at a tremendous competitive disadvantage with their unionized work force versus the largely non-union FedEx.  One can also see why the Teamsters union would favor a shift that would make it easier to win a cut of a new, large employer’s payroll.

The House bill would place some of FedEx’s drivers and other employees under the National Labor Relations Act, allowing employees to organize locally. UPS drivers are governed by that law. The Teamsters union has said the bill would ensure fairness across the industry.

Fairness?  The union’s argument here is a tacit admission that competition is important, and that the union undermines competitiveness.  “It’s only fair that we have a chance to degrade the other guy’s operations to the same level we have done with those companies that we already work for.”

The Senators from FedEx’s home state of Tennessee are set to prevent this change with the threat of a filibuster.  The Teamsters should have sold their charms with a more compelling pitch than “share the poison.”

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