(CN) – The D.C. Circuit overturned a ruling that FedEx violated labor law by refusing to bargain with the union elected to represent drivers in Wilmington, Mass. The court determined that the shipping staple’s drivers are independent contractors and not employees.
The National Labor Relations Board had ruled against FedEx, after it refused to bargain with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local No. 25. The union had won elections at two FedEx terminals in Wilmington and was certified as the collective bargaining representative of both.
Judge Brown noted that the contractors FedEx hired in Wilmington signed an agreement stating that they are not FedEx employees “for any purpose.”
The contractors can independently incorporate, serve multiple routes, hire their own employees and even sell their routes, the court noted.
“Because the indicia favoring a finding the contractors are employees are clearly outweighed by evidence of entrepreneurial opportunity, the Board cannot be said to have made a choice between two fairly conflicting views,” Judge Brown wrote.