Saturday, March 14, 2015

FedEx Freight Workers in California Vote to Join Teamsters Local 439

Drivers in Stockton Seek Job Security, Improved Health Plan, Pension

A group of 50 drivers at FedEx Freight's Stockton, Calif., terminal have voted to join Teamsters Local 439. The vote took place Thursday, March 12 and today, and the workers voted 33 to 12 to become Teamsters.

"The company spent huge amounts of money and time to try to get us to vote no, but we remained focused on changing how FedEx treats us so that we can have a say on the job," said Mel Mendieta, a FedEx Freight driver.

"We know that the only way to win job security, an improved health plan and strong retirement security is to stand together as Teamsters," said Jorge Lopez, a driver.

"I am proud of the workers here in Stockton for sticking together despite the company's pressure," said Ken Guertin, Local 439 Secretary-Treasurer. "We will work hard to negotiate a strong contract that gives these workers their rights and protections in writing."

This victory follows three previous ones in 2014: On November 19, a group of 222 drivers at FedEx Freight in Charlotte, N.C., voted to join Teamsters Local 71; on Oct. 31, a group of 113 drivers at FedEx Freight in South Brunswick, N.J., joined Teamsters Local 701 in North Brunswick, N.J.; and on Oct. 14, a group of 47 drivers in Croydon, Pa., voted to join Teamsters Local 107 in Philadelphia. Other campaigns at FedEx Freight and at Con-way Freight are under way across the country.

"This latest victory in Stockton shows the growing worker resentment toward FedEx Freight for years of being treated unfairly," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "This campaign continues to gain momentum and we are excited to be working with FedEx Freight employees across the country to help them improve their lives."

The workers' campaigns to join the Teamsters have already paid off. At FedEx Freight, the company announced an 80-cent-per-hour raise a few days after Local 107 filed for an election, and the company got rid of its overly punitive driver scorecard, which gave drivers infraction points for errors. Also, after organizing got under way at Con-way, the company announced it would increase truck driver pay by $60 million in 2015, and other improvements.

"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," said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. "The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management."

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