- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 16, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Your editorial “The fate of FedEx” (Opinion, July 9), with its overly dramatic headline, fails to understand the situation involving what is clearly special treatment for one company — FedEx Express.

Amending the Railway Labor Act (RLA) would affect FedEx Express for good reason. It is the only company in the country whose delivery drivers are governed by the RLA. All other drivers in the nation are governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The proposed change in law would place all drivers under the same law, the NLRA. It is an end to a privileged carve-out for FedEx Express and the beginning of a level, competitive playing field for all delivery companies.

You state that the change would put FedEx “under onerous labor policies that it has never faced in its 38 years in business.” But even FedEx acknowledges that it has more than 100,000 employees already governed by the NLRA — and those employees are not unionized. In fact, FedEx brags about how well its employees are treated. If FedEx is correct about its employees being happy campers, what’s all the fuss about? FedEx Express, by its own statements, should have no fears about being hampered by “onerous labor policies,” which incidentally are the law of the land.

Companies and drivers all across America meet their overnight delivery obligations faithfully and efficiently while working under the provisions of the NLRA. One company, FedEx Express, gets special treatment and then tries to scare politicians, consumers, businesses and editorial writers by saying its world will end if it does what every other company does. FedEx has even gone so far as to threaten to cancel Boeing aircraft orders if the legislation passes — another example of the scare tactics to which it stoops.

There is only one issue at stake in the legislation: treating FedEx drivers the same as all other delivery drivers in America. All similarly situated American businesses should operate under the same legal framework. That’s what the rule of law is all about. To single out one company for special treatment is anti-free-market and also violates the rule of law. Same work, same law. It’s that simple, straightforward and fair.

KEVIN L. KEARNS

President

U.S. Business and Industry Council

Washington

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