October 25, 2007

FedEx’s Bottom Line: Delivery Giant Skirts Federal Anti-Discrimination & Workplace Laws

New Report Features Current & Former FedEx Ground Drivers Describing Discriminatory Practices and Unionbusting Efforts

CONTACTS:
Liz Cattaneo, 202-822-2127 x104
lcattaneo@americanrightsatwork.org

Mistique Cano, 202-263-2882
cano@civilrights.org

WASHINGTON, DC – “Fed Up with FedEx: How FedEx Ground Tramples Workers’ Rights and Civil Rights,” a report that documents how FedEx appears to misclassify its FedEx Ground drivers as “independent contractors” to get around civil rights and labor laws in order to fatten its bottom line, was released this afternoon by American Rights at Work and The Leadership Conference.

“We currently have a discrimination suit pending against FedEx Ground, claiming that as Arab Americans and as Muslims, we were the victims of harassment by our managers, and that the company refused to address our repeated complaints,” said Loay El-Dagany, a FedEx Ground driver who was interviewed in the report.

Another FedEx Ground driver interviewed in the report, Cathy Curran, said, “We thought a union would give us the chance to really improve working conditions at the company.  But FedEx told us that we would never be able to vote on a union because we were independent contractors.”

The report, a joint project between the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) and American Rights at Work, uses worker interviews and cases filed against FedEx to meticulously detail how the $33 billion delivery giant is circumventing federal anti-discrimination laws, avoiding payment of millions of dollars in benefits to 15,000 FedEx Ground drivers, and hindering workers’ rights to form unions.

“Many Americans have forgotten or take for granted the protections that labor laws and unions provide, thinking that they can leave their well-being to a corporation.  But the examples in this report show that labor protections are just as important today as they were at the turn of the century,” said LCCR President & CEO Wade Henderson.

“You don’t run a billion dollar company and deliver millions of packages without employees – it’s the hardworking men and women employed by FedEx who make this successful company work, said American Rights at Work Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell.  She continued, “The courts say FedEx drivers are employees.  The National Labor Relations Board says they are employees.  Of course they are employees – just employees with no rights.”

In addition to interviews with current and former FedEx Ground drivers, “Fed Up with FedEx,” provides a thumbnail sketch of government investigations into FedEx Ground’s abusive employment practices, and details ongoing racial discrimination and workplace discrimination lawsuits as well as recent court rulings.