Monday, July 5, 2010

Bogus Blustering of a “Brown Bailout”

Succumbing to the omnipresent banner ads warning of a "bailout” for UPS, I finally clicked on the link to learn more. Now, feeling duped and angered, I offer this commentary.

Despite the “bailout” terminology, this has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of direct financial assistance to UPS of the sort we saw with Citi or AIG. In fact, the “bailout” has nothing do with UPS at all. The legislation at issue would simply reclassify certain employees of UPS’ primary competitor, FedEx, such that it would be easier for those FedEx employees to unionize. UPS, by the way, does a great job of rebutting FedEx’s claims and setting the record straight.

I'd like to lay into FedEx for stretching the truth, but I'll focus on its motivation. FedEx’s real problem is not UPS or some kind of legislative favoritism of its competitor. Its real problem, and hence it's real motivation, is the unions. Indeed, desperate to avoid the crippling grip of unionized labor that destroyed the American auto industry, FedEx has engaged in a multimillion-dollar campaign to prevent passage of the law when, really, both UPS and FedEx should join forces and take the unions head on.

Sadly, though, that’s just not going to happen given the Democrats’ maternal protection of the unions. FedEx realized that - and cowered. In making a collateral and wildly confusing attack on UPS, FedEx ignores the economic detriment caused by these unions and, in so doing, becomes part of the problem.

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