Now that there is public interest in FedEx workers joining Teamsters Canada, let the rumours, innuendo and myths begin. And here is the place we're going to shatter them. Let's go.
|The union just wants your dues money.
||As newly organized Teamsters, you won’t pay union dues until you’ve negotiated and voted to approve your first contract – and decided for yourselves whether it’s worth it. (The only exception being the Teamster pilot groups when they requested their union dues begin the month after voting to become Teamsters.) Every serious organization – churches, clubs, sporting leagues, and related associations require funding, and unions are no different. Union dues pay for the costs of having an organization – contract negotiations, grievances and arbitrations, training for members, legal fees, and much more so you, the worker, will never have to “go it alone”. Remember, union dues are also tax deductible.
|The union will make you go on strike.
||Strikes are a rare last resort in contract negotiations – more than 95% of Teamster contracts are negotiated without a strike. A strike only happens when a majority of workers vote to call one.
|If you form a union, you risk losing the benefits and pay raises you already have.
||It is illegal for a company to freeze or cut previously scheduled raises to discourage you from forming a union. Once you’re organized, you’ll lock in current wages and benefits and then negotiate improvements from there. All of you will get an opportunity to review your proposed contract before you vote to approve it. Obviously, you’re not going to approve a contract that cuts your wages or benefits.
|A union is a third party that will come between us.
||Rubbish! The union is... you! And your co-workers. Our union is a democratic, member-run organization. When you form a union, you work together to govern your own organization and every contract will be reviewed and approved by a majority of the employees where you work.
|With a union, you won't be allowed to talk to your supervisor - you'll have to go through the union.
||Teamsters have found that having a union strengthens communication between employees and supervisors. Direct relationships with immediate supervisors continue and you can negotiate to retain good policies and procedures already in place. The advantage of joining together in a union is that you’re able to make your voices heard at the upper levels of management, where key decisions are made.
|If the union comes in, we will shut down the unionized terminals.
||It is against the law to say that or any threat. FedEx hasn’t closed its unionized European operations nor have they eliminated their unionized pilots. So why would they shut you down? The answer is simple “it’s only a scare tactic”.
|The improvements we're willing to make right now show that you don't need a union.
||It’s great that management is responding to your concerns. It shows that when you join together, your voices are heard. You can make sure this progress is not just short term – you’ll build an ongoing dialogue with management on all your issues. You’ll also have peace of mind with a union – since the improvements you agree on will be guaranteed in your union contract.
For a PDF version of these myths and facts, please download our Letter to FedEx employees.