Drivers call unfair labor practice strike a "warning, "bringing operations at the Gardena (Calif.) terminal to a halt.
As the holiday shopping season approaches, eighty-five FedEx Freight drivers in Gardena (Calif.) are on strike to protest the company's violations of their rights under federal labor law. The drivers are supported by Teamsters Joint Council 42 and their picket line is bolstered by three hundred Teamster member volunteers.
"FedEx has done everything in their power to keep us from having union representation and this time they've gone too far," said Greg Barfus, one of the FedEx Freight drivers on strike. "We're tired of them violating their rights - this is our warning to FedEx that their illegal behavior needs to stop immediately."
"These workers are tired of being mistreated by FedEx, tired of having their rights violated," said Randy Cammack, President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. "They've taken the very serious step of going on strike because they've been pushed to their limit. The drivers' actions are protected under federal labor law and we will do everything in our power to support them going forward."
The drivers say they hope their action will compel FedEx to change its behavior and stop interfering in their federally protected activities. If FedEx continues to break the law, they're prepared to take further action.
"We don't know exactly what to expect but we're not afraid," said Carlos Meza, another striker. "We know our rights. And we're prepared to take further action if necessary."
"FedEx isn't union busting only in Gardena," said Randy Korgan, Organizing Director for Teamsters Joint Council 42. "They're doing everything they can to stifle workers' efforts to unionize throughout Southern California. We're always open to a company changing their tune but we don't expect FedEx to change decades of anti-union behavior because of one action. We believe this action will inspire other FedEx employees to take similar actions and eventually build enough power to force FedEx's hand. We're in this for the long haul and this is just the beginning."
FedEx Freight is exploring its options and will take appropriate legal action in response to this coercive and potentially illegal activity. We are working diligently to minimize any disruption to our customers and will continue to provide the high level of service they have come to expect from FedEx Freight.
Only a small handful of our employees in Gardena are involved, and most of the protesters are outsiders with their own agenda. These outsiders have resorted to intimidating and coercive conduct against FedEx Freight employees attempting to exercise their legal right to attend work and to decide for themselves whether they wish to be represented by a union.