FedEx and UPS are fighting an increasingly public war over language in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009:

It permits drivers for FedEx Express to organize into local collective bargaining units under provisions of the National Labor Relations Act and do away with the requirement that they hold national elections under the terms of the Railway Labor Act.

I spent the better part of an hour trying to understand this, then wrote a long winded summary for you, only to find this handy Reason.tv video seconds later which explained it better than I could.


FedEx’s current Brown Bailout campaign bugs me. The site makes no honest mention of what the actual change will be, and instead, plays up the corporate bailout language in an effort to co-opt some of the anti-bailout sentiment still creeping around the edges of the country.

It’s a cheap and utterly transparent.

If FedEx truly believed they were in the right, that theirs was a just cause against a despicable, bought and paid for underhanded anticompetitive play, they would provide a straight-forward page, or letter, or graphic explaining their case. They don’t. Instead, they mask it with anti-government, anti-regulation, anti-lobbyist speak.

They want us, the banner-digesting public, to believe that FedEx is entirely in the right, UPS entirely in the wrong.

But it’s hard to be against the change. Why shouldn’t FedEx employees be able to unionize locally, without being forced to do so at a national level? Why shouldn’t FedEx and UPS be governed under the exact same law?

The Railway Labor Act was designed to ensure that our nation’s railways and airlines could not be crippled by a local strike. But FedEx deserves no such special protection. If FedEx were crippled by a strike, packages would merely be routed through the postal service, or through UPS. The country, and its businesses, could go about their dealings suffering only a minor hiccup and perhaps some higher costs.