In recent months we have taken action to end the shipping of print copies of Labor by FedEx in any capacity. From this point forth contributors and subscribers should receive all issues exclusively through the United Parcel Service (UPS) and the United States Postal Service, both service providers with a long-standing union presence.
The problem with FedEx is that it has proven itself to be an exceptionally anti-union employer, making its services anathema to LABOR’s many union readers and subscribers as well as at odds, in principle, with core values underlying the field of labor history. In a nutshell, by dint of its 1971 origins as an air transport service–a function which today represents less than a tenth of its employees who are now mostly in ground service–FedEx but has gone to great lengths to avoid the rules of the National Labor Relations Act (which, e.g. pertain to its chief corporate rival UPS) in order to seek continued shelter under the Railway Labor Act (RLA).
Rather than allow for local unions by a majority of those participating, the RLA requires a single election for the nation-wide workforce and mandates that the union must obtain a majority not only of those workers voting but of voters and non-voters combined. Across the country workers at FedEx’s rivals –such as UPS and smaller companies—have often chosen union representation through NLRB elections, but FedEx has proven an abject holdout. In order to ensure fairer competition in the industry, the House of Representatives in 2010 voted to repeal FedEx’s RLA loophole, but the legislation was subsequently blocked with help from FedEx favorite son, Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander. To do our part in maintaining a fair supply chain for the publication of our journal, we have worked with the helpful assistance of staff at Duke University Press to ensure that the journal’s printer, Sheridan Press in Hanover, Pennsylvania, employs alternative shipping methods.