Although the bill did not receive much media attention when it was voted on, House Democrats recently added language into the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 which would reclassify FedEx workers to the National Labor Relations Act from the National Railway Labor Act. This essentially means that unions would be able to organize one location at a time under the NLRA, as opposed to the Railway jurisdiction where all workers vote on the union at the same time.
The two biggest supporters of this are UPS and the Teamsters. The Teamsters, of course, represent a large majority of UPS workers and stand to gain the most if it was easier to organize FedEx workers (i.e., new dues). UPS competes with FedEx, and often times can not compete with their labor costs, and also faces strike threats when labor contracts breakdown that FedEx does not have.
All three of Mississippi’s House Democrats voted in support of this legislation (roll call). This includes Rep. Travis Childers, who represents many in Desoto and other northwestern Mississippi counties who work at FedEx and may be negatively impacted by this legislation. By comparison, Rep. Steve Cohen, a very liberal member of the House who represents Memphis, was one of just four Democrats to vote against this bill. It is too bad Childers is looking out for labor unions instead of his own constituents.
Majority in Mississippi