Let’s Keep Hawaii Open for Business

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2006

BY MAURY LANE – FedEx Express is proud to be a partner with the state of Hawaii.  We have more than 400 hard-working employees and fly 170 flights in and out each day – carrying important packages and cargo critical to the local economy.

We want to remain partners for years to come.

This fall the Senate could vote on a final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization that, as a whole, is an important piece of legislation.  It modernizes the FAA and our country’s air travel system.  Unfortunately the legislation is being used as a vehicle to push the interest of one company, at the expense of another, putting our overnight delivery network, which so many businesses rely on, at risk.

Last year the House of Representatives passed its version of the FAA legislation and included a 230-word provision buried in the 268-page bill that would change how FedEx Express is governed under U.S. labor laws. This provision amounts to nothing less than a legislative bailout for UPS.

Until FedEx Express was founded in 1971, UPS had a virtual monopoly on the shipping industry. They controlled prices and offered limited choices for consumers. FedEx Express changed all that by creating real competition in the parcel delivery sector, introducing overnight express delivery.  Express delivery has become a critical component of our economy – especially in rural areas of Hawaii.

FedEx Express is one of the world’s largest airlines. More than 85 percent of our cargo goes by air, and we operate an international hub system, pay airline fees and taxes and run our operations like any other airline. In the United States we have more than 100 facilities and hubs that are part of this integrated delivery system. And like all other airlines, railroads and express companies (including a division of UPS), we are governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), which Congress created 70 years ago to ensure our country’s interstate commerce runs reliably and predictably without disruptions from local disputes.  The RLA requires unions to organize at the national level.

UPS is a fundamentally different company. More than 85 percent of their packages are shipped solely by ground vehicles. UPS is, essentially, a trucking company and as such is governed under a different set of rules established by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which allows unionization at the local level.

Now, instead of competing in the marketplace, UPS has gone to Congress to try to move us from the RLA to the NLRA.  That change could subject FedEx Express to local disruptions and threaten the reliability of express delivery nationwide.

What does this potential change mean for the people of Hawaii?

Reducing access and reliability will hurt the many small businesses throughout the state who rely on overnight shipping for critical manufacturing parts, important documents and other items critical to their business.

The U.S. Senate, including the Hawaii senators, can oppose the UPS bailout,  preserve today’s healthy competition, and assure they and all Americans have access to the reliable, competitively priced express delivery services all expect and deserve.

Maury Lane is the Director of Corporate Communications at FedEx Corporation.

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