Congress Passes Another Three-Month Extension
(WASHINGTON) — Congress has voted to extend the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill for another three months, delaying important job creation and safety provisions and a key measure to close the FedEx loophole giving the company special status.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa urged Congress to stand up to FedEx, which has been blocking passage of the legislation. The extension, to Dec. 31, was passed by the House and Senate on Thursday.
“Congress must address the issue of fairness when it comes to FedEx’s special treatment that allows it to treat its truck drivers as airline workers,” Hoffa said.
The two senators from Tennessee, at the behest of Memphis-based FedEx (NYSE:FDX), have been threatening a filibuster to block the provision in the bill closing the FedEx loophole.
“Congress cannot bow to the wishes of one company and hold up this legislation because FedEx wants to keep its special status,” said Teamsters Package Division Director and International Vice President Ken Hall.
The Express Carrier Employee Protection Act in the FAA Reauthorization Bill will end the special treatment that FedEx lobbyists won in 1996. The measure would establish one set of rules for all package delivery companies. The provision is in the House-passed version of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, which also includes important safety measures for the traveling public and the industry, and would create more than 125,000 new jobs each year.
FedEx Express is the only freight and package delivery company in the United States allowed to classify truck drivers, sorters, loaders and unloaders as airline workers. More than 90,000 FedEx Express employees who never even touch an airplane are treated as airline workers under the Railway Labor Act. Truck drivers, sorters, loaders and unloaders at small businesses, UPS and every other freight and package delivery company in the United States are under the National Labor Relations Act.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including 250,000 workers at UPS.