FedEx sues, then cuts ties with delivery contractor Patton

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LOS ANGELES — FedEx Corp on Friday filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to stop one of its largest delivery contractors from spreading misinformation about its business for financial gain, and confirmed it had severed its relationship with him, with immediate effect.

FedEx’s lawsuit seeks injunction and damages following a ‘coordinated and multi-faceted campaign orchestrated’ by Spencer Patton, who has 225 FedEx Ground routes in 10 states as well as companies that provide service to the few 6,000 US contractors who transport and deliver packages for this unit.

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Patton has said for weeks that up to 35% of FedEx Ground delivery providers are at risk of financial failure. He urged his leaders to improve compensation and rallied his peers to his cause.

Patton did not address the merits of the matter and went public with the termination of his relationship with FedEx, saying that « the company’s decision to cancel our contracts is a clear case of (this) silencing anyone who has a voice ».

FedEx said the affected routes represent less than 0.5% of Ground’s 60,000 routes and that contingency plans are in place.

In its lawsuit, FedEx alleged that Patton disparaged its Ground business through a series of false and misleading statements about its business activities.

FedEx says the escalating conflict is hurting its business and forcing it to spend money on damage control.

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Adverse media coverage stemming from Patton’s campaign could harm Ground’s reputation with shippers who pay it to deliver packages and erode goodwill within the contractor network, FedEx alleged in its complaint filed with the United States District Court for the Intermediate District of Tennessee.

FedEx alleged that Patton’s actions are a promotional campaign for his company which provides consulting, brokerage and other services to delivery providers.

Patton seeks to position his company as the industry leader by providing consulting and other services to contractors, representing them individually or in collective bargaining with FedEx Ground, FedEx said.

And, the company said, Patton indirectly encouraged actions that could disrupt its crucial Christmas delivery business.

At a conference held by his company last weekend, Patton said that if the terms of his contract were not adjusted, he would close his FedEx Ground contracting business on November 25, at the start of the season. holidays.

Although Patton « claimed to speak ‘only on behalf of (his) individual companies,’ he was clearly trying to influence a group outing or boycott, » FedEx said in the lawsuit. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by David Gregorio and Kenneth Maxwell)


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