Senate's approval of FAA bill means another FedEx-UPS fight

The Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill on Monday, authorizing federal spending to modernize the country's air traffic control system, among other items.

The Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill on Monday, allowing federal spending to modernize the country's air traffic control system, among other items. The Senate version, however, lacks an amendment impacting FedEx and UPS, which was included in the House bill passed last year.

The House provision would reclassify FedEx drivers under the National Labor Relations Act, making it easier for them to unionize on a local basis. UPS drivers are already covered by this act, but FedEx has fought back against the amendment, saying strikes could threaten its business by slowing down critical deliveries. UPS counters that it's a matter of fairness and putting everyone under the same rules.

The House bill sparked a PR battle between the two companies last summer, including a multimillion-dollar ad campaign from FedEx that characterized the amendment as a "Brown Bailout" for UPS.

The two sides are likely to continue to push their agendas as Congress now has to merge the two bills before the legislation lands on President Obama's desk. Already, each side has issued statements praising the legislation's continue move forward.

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