(SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J.) – A group of 113 drivers at FedEx Freight’s South Brunswick, N.J., terminal voted today to join Teamsters Local 701. The vote was 66 to 42.
“This victory is for all of us,” said Mike Thiemer, a driver. “We are tired of the unfair and inconsistent work rules and policies handed down by management. It comes down to wanting to be treated with respect and dignity.”
“The workers came to us looking for fairness after years of being mistreated and disrespected,” said Ernie Soehl, President of Teamsters Local 701 in North Brunswick, N.J., and the Teamsters Eastern Region Freight Coordinator. “The company continued to disrespect the workers with its vicious lies during the anti-union campaign it waged, but the workers saw through this. In fact, we invited the terminal manager to debate the issues, but of course he didn’t show up.”
This victory follows another at FedEx Freight in Croydon, Pa., where 47 drivers voted to join Local 107 in Philadelphia on Oct. 14. Other campaigns at FedEx Freight and at Con-way Freight are under way across the country.
“Once again, this victory shows that drivers are fed up with FedEx Freight,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “The campaign is building momentum and we will work hard to win these workers the fairness, respect and dignity they deserve.”
The workers’ campaigns to join the Teamsters have already paid off. At FedEx Freight, the company announced an 80-cent-per-hour raise a few days after Local 107 filed for an election, and the company got rid of its overly punitive driver scorecard, which gives drivers infraction points for errors. Also, after organizing got under way at Con-way, the company announced it would increase truck driver pay by $60 million in 2015, and other improvements.
“The companies are offering pay raises and other improvements at the same time we are organizing, but the workers know that these things can be taken away just as quickly without a binding contract,” said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.