Don Cohen: UPS shenanigans |

Don Cohen: UPS shenanigans

With so much intensity wrapped around health care and the economy, a seemingly minor, but critical piece of legislation has left the House and is headed for the Senate. It’s a hidden provision included in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2009 and I believe it would have a negative impact on our nation’s overnight delivery system. So does the editorial staff of The Wall Street Journal who, in an April 26 opinion column called it, “The Big Brown Union Bailout.”

Simply put, UPS has pushed language into the authorization bill that would force FedEx to change their hiring policies to fall under the National Labor Relations Act (like UPS) instead of the Railway Labor Act, which FedEx currently operates under. I believe that UPS’s motivation is to saddle FedEx with burdensome and potentially harmful regulation that would put customers at risk in the event of a labor dispute and give UPS a competitive advantage.

Some years ago, when UPS drivers went on strike, my company turned to FedEx to keep business deliveries moving. If this provision is allowed to remain in the house bill, it could potentially mean that a labor dispute could idle both companies at the same time. That’s not good for any of our delivery dependent businesses such as the Summit Medical Center and our orthopedic practices that depend on multiple sources of overnight delivery.

UPS’s tactic of trying to tweak legislation to the detriment of their competition, and ultimately the public, is an unseemly reach-around that should be stopped.

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