Package handlers at the FedEx Ground warehouse in Brockton, Massachusetts are fighting to form a union. If the workers win the union election, scheduled for August 3rd, it will be the first time package handlers have ever won a union a FedEx.
Over the next three weeks, these workers face a David versus Goliath type of struggle to overcome FedEx’s vicious anti-union campaign. That's why we are appealing for the full support of working people everywhere by urgently organizing solidarity actions in your area, targeting FedEx locations on July 22-23. Then sign the solidarity petition and pass it on. Their fight is our fight!
Why a Union?
Brockton FedEx workers looking to unionize contacted Teamsters Local 653 months ago and quickly signed up 75 percent of their co-workers to the union. Like so many workers nowadays, FedEx package handlers work part-time for poverty wages starting at $10.50 and maxing out at $14.50 after four years. They work short pre-dawn or late night shifts, lifting heavy packages and working in trailers where extreme temperatures range from 2 degrees in winter to 115 degrees in the summer!
The work is exhausting and the management is demanding. But, while 90 percent of the 71 Brockton workers are African American, all the supervisors were white. Workers received no health benefits, no job security, and no guarantee of securing decent full-time positions at FedEx, one of the largest companies in the world.
Jobs like this are part of the 21st century “American Nightmare” that corporate America and Wall Street have thrust on communities everywhere. Simply quitting and finding a “better job” is not an option. Brockton has one of the highest unemployment rates in Massachusetts, and the job market is only getting worse.
That's why this fight is part of a broader struggle. A union at FedEx Ground would enable workers to bargain for living wage jobs in Brockton. And in this era where most union drives end in defeat, a victory at FedEx – “the Walmart of the trucking industry” – would inspire workers everywhere to stand up to corporate America. It would raise workers’ confidence and could help spark a badly needed movement to organize a new generation of workers and young people into the unions.
That's why it's in the interest of working people everywhere that Brockton FedEx Ground workers win the election on August 3, and secure a decent contract.
Union Busters and Tax Evaders
FedEx is a notorious union buster, and keeping unions out is vital to maintaining their enormous profits. FedEx fights tooth and nail at the legislative and judicial levels to keep unions out. They will fight equally hard on the shop-floor level to keep a union out in Brockton.
Already, they have flown in their top union-busting executives to Brockton to wage a campaign against the union drive. They are trying to kill the union with a sudden kindness not known before the union drive started. All the white supervisors have been replaced by “nice” African American managers; the workers have been treated to cookouts and finally offered (terrible) health care benefits.
But this is just a cynical ploy, and it goes on while the managers spread lies and misinformation about unions to whip up fears about unionization. They are having one-on-one meetings with workers, showing anti-union videos, and spreading glossy anti-union literature among the workers. Meanwhile, union activists at FedEx have been isolated from coworkers.
FedEx is also a notorious tax dodger. According to US Uncut, “When it comes to paying their fair share of taxes, FedEx simply does not deliver. When FedEx made $1.9 billion in profits, they managed to pay less than .0005% of it in taxes by using 21 tax havens. FedEx also spent 42 times (4200%) more on lobbying Congress than they did in taxes.”
What YOU Can Do to Help
We are calling on unions, activists, workers, and young people across the country to organize for a day of action in support of the Brockton FedEx Ground workers on Saturday, July 23.
Saturday, July 23: Target FedEx Office (formerly Kinko’s) stores
Locate one or more FedEx/Kinko’s stores near you, ideally in a high foot traffic area. Set a time and put out the call for a picket and protest using Facebook, Twitter, email blasts, and word of mouth to spread the word! Check out an example Facebook event here.
Also promote your solidarity event through the US Uncut website here.
For more info and updates:
Check out the Facebook Days of Action event and FedUp Ground group pages.
You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-283-9108.