It’s a North American first for these workers at FedEx. Before this victory, the only unionized FedEx employees were the company’s U.S.-based pilots.
Teamsters Canada put out a press statement:
“I commend these 14 workers for their courage,” says Stan Hennessy, International Vice-President and President of Teamsters Local Union 31. “They have all my admiration for having accomplished this North American first.”
The workers explained what motivated them to join the union: dismal fringe benefits, lack of pension fund, and lower wages than the industry average. As a reminder, most of the industry’s workers are unionized and represented by the Teamsters.
“Most of these new members only work 20 hours a week. How are they supposed to improve their quality of life?” said Stan Hennessy. “They have had enough of living without the slightest safety net!”FedEx Freight workers in Delanco, N.J., will be voting on October 10 in their Teamsters election, and numerous Teamster local unions in the United States have filed for elections at FedEx Freight.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said,
We are seeing workers at FedEx Freight across North America saying they want their wages, benefits and working conditions negotiated in a legally binding union contract. They are turning to the Teamsters for help and we will be there for them.Local 31 collected cards from a majority of the 14 workers in the bargaining unit, then submitted an application on June 4, 2014 to represent the workers with the Canada Industrial Relations Board.
Local 31 was certified as the bargaining representative on September 15, 2014.
Local 31 organizer Ben Hennessy said the victory was a group effort. He thanked Local 31 President Stan Hennessy, Teamsters Canada Organizer Grant Coleman and Local 31 Business Agent Mike Hennessy, as well as the local’s staff members, for helping with the victory.
Local 31 will look into organizing other workers at the warehouse, which opened in 2012.