Labor Laws and Unions


Labor Laws and Unions
University of Phoenix

Labor Laws and Unions
An interview in college was as close as I came to working for a unionized organization, and that was United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS). But as I continued my research, this paper became about two competitors and the differences between the two in the area of unionization.
UPS for founded in 1907 as American Messenger Company, based in Seattle, Washington.   In 1919 the company expanded beyond Seattle and adopted the name United Parcel Service.   By the 1980’s UPS was international, and today operates in 185 countries and territories. The main competitor of UPS is the FedEx Corporation (FedEx).  
In regards to the question of legal issues or obstacles which UPS could encounter, I will discuss an obstacle, the   challenge of the unionization of UPS’s employees.  
More than half of the 415,000-member UPS workforce is unionized, primarily with the Teamsters. FedEx has 280,000 workers, and only 5,000, all airplane pilots, are unionized. Keeping the Teamsters out means that FedEx has lower overhead than UPS and can brag to customers that it hasn't had a strike in 38 years, critics say.   (Kingsbury, 2009, ¶ 3)
Why is the workforce of UPS unionized in greater number than FedEx?   It is due to the age and original designation of UPS as a trucking company, resulting in the organization falling under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  
The NLRA also contains provisions that protect what is known as protected concerted activity- when two or more employees acting together protest or complain about wages, benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment.   (Legal Information Institute [LII], n.d., chap. 5)
FedEx falls under the 1926 National Railway Act.   “The railway act, which also covers airlines, aims to minimize the impact of local strikes on national infrastructure and makes unionizing more difficult.” (Kingsbury, 2009, chap. 2).   FedEx...