July 24, 2007

Fired FedEx Driver Tells Congress About Job Misclassification

WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A former FedEx driver told a congressional panel today that the company misclassified him as an independent contractor though it controlled most aspects of his daily work as it would an employee.

Bob Williams, who worked for FedEx Corp. subsidiary FedEx Home Delivery in Northboro, Mass., testified before two House Education and Labor subcommittees. The hearing was titled "The Misclassification of Workers as Independent Contractors."

As an independent contractor, Williams was not covered by many federal and state labor laws covering wages, benefits and worker protections.

"I was responsible for the cost of the vehicle, for the fuel, for the tires, for the maintenance, and all operating costs, including breakdown and emergency expenditures," said Williams, who lives in Berlin, Mass. "I paid for a worker's accident policy, in lieu of workmen's comp weekly deductions, and I also paid for liability insurance."

Williams was fired by FedEx in December 2005 in part because of his protests over the company's policies and in part because of his union activities. The National Labor Relations Board Region 1 determined Williams and fellow drivers were wrongly classified as contractors and were employees under the law.

The NLRB also investigated unfair labor practice charges stemming from the termination of Williams and other union supporters. In March 2007, the board filed a consolidated complaint against FedEx Home Delivery; a hearing is set for August.

Since 2001, the NLRB regional offices ruled six consecutive times that FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery drivers are employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

FedEx Home Delivery drivers in Wilmington, Mass., and Windsor, Conn., have voted for Teamster representation in the last year. The NLRB certified Teamsters Local 25 in Boston as the collective bargaining agent for the Wilmington drivers. FedEx has indicated they will refuse to bargain with Local 25.

Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States and Canada.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

CONTACT: Leslie Miller of International Brotherhood of Teamsters,+1-202-624-8734, [email protected]

Web site: http://www.teamster.org/