Thursday, June 7, 2007

Latest Unit to Join Teamsters Union in Drive for Rights and Respect

Latest Unit to Join Teamsters Union in Drive for Rights and Respect

Contact: David White
(202) 439-1904
June 4, 2007


(Washington, D.C.) - A group of drivers at the FedEx Home Delivery terminal in Windsor, Connecticut, who voted 12 to 9 to join the Teamsters Union on May 11, became members of Local 671 when the ballots were finally counted on Friday, June 1, due to delaying tactics by the company.

The FedEx Home Delivery single-route drivers are seeking to regain their rights and respect from a company that illegally classifies them as “contractors.” After the election is certified, Teamsters Local 671 and driver representatives will begin to bargain a contract that secures the long overdue wages, benefits and rights for these employees.

The drivers’ vote follows a similar outcome of two FedEx Home Delivery terminals outside Boston that joined Teamsters Local 25 in late 2006. The illegal FedEx Ground and Home Delivery business model of labeling its drivers as “contractors” but controlling them as employees is being challenged by FedEx workers around the country.

“The FedEx drivers are sick and tired of the misclassification that denies them fair pay and benefits and lines the pockets of FedEx management with the profits the drivers deliver every day,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “The FedEx contractor scam has run roughshod over these workers for too long. This vote for the Teamsters marks the end of the scam for these drivers.”

“Many of the FedEx drivers in Hartford struggled for years inside the FedEx Ground scam and found the system was always tilted against them,” said Teamsters Parcel and Small Package Division Director and International Vice President Ken Hall. “FedEx would routinely make promises and not live up to them or give something here only to take it away somewhere else. By joining the Teamsters, these drivers have clearly announced to the company that it is a new day and there will be a new way.”

“Connecticut Teamsters are fully prepared to join with these newest members from FedEx to sit down with the company and hammer out a contract that provides them with the pay and benefits they deserve,” said Teamsters Local 671 President Dave Lucas.

“This is obviously a big step for these drivers but this vote will also open the eyes of people around the state to what exactly is going on with the misclassification abuse at FedEx,” Lucas said.

An election at another FedEx Home Delivery terminal in Northboro, Massachusetts is pending while the company faces a complaint issued by the National Labor Relations Board Region 1. The NLRB Region 1 complaint charges FedEx with retaliating against drivers for testifying before the NLRB and other protected union activities. The complaint further charges that the company fabricated evidence of wrongdoing and terminated four drivers for their protected free speech and union support.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information, visit www.teamster.org or www.fedexwatch.com.

6 comments:

irudedog said...

CHANGE TO WIN said...
Dear Friend,

I urge you to join me in taking action to secure the American Dream for working people!

Change to Win, a new federation of seven unions with six million members, is working to ensure that all of us achieve the American Dream -- a salary that can support a family, affordable health care, retirement security, a voice on the job and a chance to give our children an education and a better future.

fedex watch said...

McCain likes FedEx CEO for Cabinet!



By Nevin Batiwalla
batiwalla@commercialappeal.com
June 2, 2007
FedEx CEO Fred Smith as a Cabinet secretary?
It could happen if John McCain wins his bid for president. Earlier this week McCain mentioned Smith as someone he'd like to see in a Cabinet position in his administration should he win.


Advertisement
When asked Friday morning after a fund-raising stop in East Memphis which position Smith might be chosen for, McCain replied, "I think it's very early for that. I think he'd provide a great service, and serve willingly."
McCain chatted up about 50 local supporters in a private breakfast meeting at the Crescent Club, then after the grits and bacon, the Arizona senator spoke to reporters. He described his relationships with two notable Tennesseans -- Smith, a McCain supporter, and Fred Thompson, a likely opponent.

"Fred Smith and I have been friends for many, many years," McCain said. "He is one of the great American success stories, and I have the utmost respect and friendship for him. And I am grateful for his support, and I know that here in Tennessee with my friend Fred Thompson getting in that it's a courageous thing to do."

"I don't think there's any doubt that he is running," McCain said of Thompson. "He and I are old, good friends, and we will remain so."

McCain said Thompson gave him advice during his 2000 presidential bid, "and I appreciated it." But he said he won't be reciprocating. "I have no advice for him."

"He's already been president two or three times," McCain said. "I've seen him in the movies."

Getting to more serious issues, McCain pushed his immigration stance.

"It continues to be a national security issue," McCain said. "We need to solve it. There are 12 million people in this country here illegally."

McCain responded to opponents who suggest the comprehensive immigration bill he supports is a form of amnesty.

"Those who claim it is amnesty in my view are totally incorrect," McCain said. "Anything short of deporting 12 million people to them is amnesty."

McCain said those who oppose the bill aren't offering any solutions and said the bill is stricter than a general reprieve.

"We are making them learn English, pay a $5,000 fine, go back to their country of origin, have a background check, and pay back taxes, and then have as long as a 13-year wait to be eligible for citizenship," McCain said.

According to McCain, his immigration stance is going over well with the donors.

"I think the majority of business people, like the majority of Americans, support this comprehensive plan," McCain said.

-- Nevin Batiwalla: 529-2527

DAN BLACHARSKI said...

My name is Dan Blacharski. I am a writer and freelance investigative reporter, and I have a story to tell. It's an intriguing story that has nagged at me for years, as I have wondered at the unanswered questions here. In 1991, a payroll tax processing company called Hamilton Taft & Co. was put into involuntary bankruptcy by its high-profile, Fortune 500 clients, led by Federal Express. FedEx and the others accused Hamilton Taft of malfeasance. And if it were true, then that would have been the end of the story. Another white collar criminal goes to jail. But that's not what happened. This story has far too many irregularities, and far too many power brokers were in on the action to put this company under. Why? To cover their own backsides.

The story below is one of several more to come. If you have an interest in this story, wish to link to it or reprint it, or have information relating to it, please feel free to contact me at dan@blacharski.net.

INDUSTRIAL NEWS (UNION POWER) said...

A CORORATE SCANDAL NEVER TOLD...
A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE...
AN INNOCENT MAN IN PRISON...

Note to newspapers and webmasters: Permission is hereby granted to reprint the text from the following press release. Please send a link showing where the article has been used to: dan@blacharski.net.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Attorney Bill Boyd to Represent Connie "Chip" Armstrong
Armstrong set up to take a fall in corporate cover-up



McKinney, Texas, December 6, 2006--Attorney Bill Boyd, partner in the Texas law firm of Boyd Viegel, announced today that he has agreed to represent Connie "Chip" Armstrong, former CEO of Hamilton Taft & Co. in his federal court case. Armstrong has been recently profiled in several investigative news stories that outline a massive cover-up in which Armstrong's company was unjustly forced into involuntary bankruptcy by Federal Express Corp. and shut down, and Armstrong himself imprisoned.

According to investigative journalist Dan Blacharski, in a recent interview on the popular David Allen Show radio talk show, internal government documents indicate that the case against Armstrong was built on a theory of law that had never been proven, and incredibly, was changed back and forth by the courts to suit the prosecution's needs. Furthermore, it is clear that standard legal protocol was never followed. Among other things, an evidentiary hearing, as mandated by an initial motion filed in Federal District Court, was never held, and contrary to the intent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy law, the company was shut down while it was still viable.

Hamilton Taft was a payroll tax processing company based in San Francisco, which processed some $7 billion worth of payroll taxes annually for Fortune 500 clients, including FedEx. Clients enjoyed comprehensive service and low fees in exchange for agreeing to allow Hamilton Taft to manage and invest payroll funds, primarily in short-term government notes, but also including a small percentage of longer-term issues. Court records show that Hamilton Taft had fulfilled its obligations to pay 100 percent of clients' payroll taxes up until the time it was forced into bankruptcy, and all accounting taken over by a court-appointed trustee.

A false allegation had been disseminated among Hamilton Taft clients by a former employee, stating that funds were being misused and that Armstrong had been making improper investments. Despite the fact that both the FBI and IRS had previously investigated and determined that no crime had been committed, the fact that the allegation had been made caused a "run" on Hamilton Taft funds and the ultimate demise of the company. After bankruptcy liquidation, assets that had been liquidated exceeded the amount claimed missing, despite a claim that the assets were "worthless." According to evidence presented by Blacharski on The David Allen Show, it appears that FedEx used its influence to force a rush to judgment in order to avoid being held liable for the improper forced closure of a viable company.

More details of the case can be found online at http://www.hamiltontaftandcompany.com.
A

INDUSTRIAL NEWS (UNION POWER) said...

True Heroes & A Tale Of Two Children:
Teach Your Children Well...
And Learn From Them, Too!







Secret Agent? U.S. President? Future FDX CEO?

OK, we've arrived at the conclusion of this UNION PRIDE feature. And as promised, there is a major FedEx connection. The "tale of the second child" is about company founder Fred Smith's oldest son, Richard Wallace Smith, who because of his violent conduct has been run off a college campus by an outraged student body and faculty.

The following information presented to you is NOT for the purpose of ridicule, or to have a laugh at the expense of the second child. In fact, I hope that young Richard can successfully turn his life around and make something worthwhile of himself. Most of his life lies ahead of him. No, the reasons for sharing this info are very serious indeed.

Richard's case calls to mind numerous questions. What responsibility should parents maintain in imparting personal values, moral guidance, and positive role models to their children? Are the rich "different" than the rest of us working stiffs, with values and scruples and goals and methods fundamentally unlike ours? Perhaps that's why they ARE super-wealthy? What does it say about society's economic structures when a violent and angry rich kid can potentially end up as Chief Executive Officer of a huge multinational conglomerate such as FDX?

Yes, Richard Wallace Smith, eldest son of FedEx founder and billionaire Fred Smith, could someday end up as our boss! Stranger things have happened. After all, Fred's wealth has to go somewhere when he dies; there's certainly not enough room in his casket or urn. Who knows what inheritance plans Fred has made? And with wealth comes power. If Richard obtains a major concentration of daddy's FDX stock, who's to say he can't become Chief Executive Officer? Handpicked FedEx and FDX board of director members have NEVER been known for making other than "rubber stamp" decisions supporting Fred Smith's wishes. This consideration thrusts Richard into the spotlight, and subjects him to careful scrutiny by all FedEx employees concerned for their future.

It's only natural for a young man to want to look up to his father. And it's to be expected that kids mimic the behavior and values of their parents. Richard Wallace Smith, through no choice of his own, was born to a millionaire father. That father is now a billionaire. And despite a kind of "cult hero mythology" that has been carefully constructed around Fred Smith, he has actually led a very checkered past. Everybody has a few skeletons in their closet; but most of us ordinary folks have no choice but to pay the piper and learn the hard way from our negative behavior. Yet when rich fatcats do something wrong, repugnant, or illegal, time and again they seem to wield enough money, power, and influence to escape the consequences that the rest of us are forced to endure when we engage in similar conduct or behavior.

For instance, back in 1974, Fred Smith was sued by his two half-sisters in regards to his methods of funneling and depleting the family trust fund into FedEx. He eventually reached a settlement with them. Smith was also criminally indicted upon indications of forgery and bank fraud. He purposely and knowingly invented and falsified business documents detailing meetings that never took place, signed other people's names without their knowledge, and did not disclose these facts to banks making million dollar loans. Smith admitted in court to much of the evidence presented, yet he somehow was acquitted in a jury trial!

Meanwhile, many a FedEx manager has knowingly engaged in "falsification" practices of their own. They have doctored statistical reports, altered time cards regarding overtime distribution, and looked the other way when employees break official policies [like working through break] that boost productivity and make management look good. By contrast, when management "tires" of somebody, hourly workers are often fired for "falsifying" some minor time card detail or company document. Isn't this what is known as a "double standard"?

FedEx couriers and tractor trailer drivers will also be interested in Fred Smith's 1975 hit-and-run auto accident, when he fatally injured a pedestrian who crossed against a traffic light into the car's path. Smith sped away from the scene, and could only produce an expired driver's license when chased down and pulled over by an off-duty police witness. Smith spent that night in jail, but things got "better" for him after that. After a series of six court delays, all charges were eventually dropped by the prosecutor. And nobody at FedEx wrote-up or disciplined Fred; in fact, his corporate control and personal wealth only increased.

Yet I only have to look as far as my own station, IXDA, to know of a courier whose truck was recently hit when another driver ran a red light. Our courier received no traffic citations, unlike the other man, yet management wrote him up for apparently not taking every single existing possible omniscient supernatural precaution! Why should those with influence like Smith get away with wrongs, when the rest of us can't get the benefit of the doubt? Sounds like a good argument for establishing our own kind of influence: Union Power!

These less than stellar episodes in Fred Smith's life are well documented in the book, Overnight Success: Federal Express & Frederick Smith, Its Renegade Creator, written by Vance Trimble, 1993, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York., N.Y.

No wonder Fred's son Richard is confused as to what is right and what is wrong! Given his rich and powerful father's history of arguably by-passing justice, we can see how Richard thinks that's the typical way of doing things! And as you'll see, the "Fred Smith" method of power, influence, and intimidation was applied in his son's behalf. Just ask thousands of Richard's fellow college students! That's certainly what they believe.

I sincerely hope that Richard re-evaluates his life and chooses to venture down a different path than the one he seems to be treading. Why, perhaps someday Richard Wallace Smith will proudly thrust a FedEx Teamster sign in front of his father's face and demand justice for all FDX employees! If former professional "union buster" business consultant Marty Levitt can morally redeem himself and switch over to the side of justice, perhaps there is hope for young Richard. You can read this insider's look at fatcat corporate America and its billion dollar "union avoidance" industry in the book Confessions of a Union Buster, by Martin Jay Levitt with Terry Conrow, 1993, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York. Levitt paints a picture of business executives as domineering control freaks, making Fred Smith look fairly typical, actually!

In this sense it doesn't matter who is CEO of a large company! Upper executives might differ somewhat in the ferocity of dirty tricks they utilize against their workforce. But they all oppose unions wrestling away a degree of managerial control and profits so the life of the average worker can be bettered. Consider the delaying tactics and threats used by Richard's billionaire father against our pilots, who took six years and two unions to obtain their first signed contract. Fred Smith didn't just magically "mastermind" this union avoidance strategy. For many years Smith has utilized high-priced union-busting consultant and public relations firms to combat unionization [visit "Silver Anvil Award" document on AirlinePilots.com to sample the influence of these shadowy firms inside FedEx]. If FDX management views our proud, highly skilled aircraft pilots as mere cogs in a money-making machine, imagine the contempt they must feel for the "lowly" part-time sorter, handler, or courier.

Despite their obscene pay/perks/stock options/golden parachute compensation packages often many hundreds of times that of their workers [visit the AFL-CIO's Executive PayWatch], "Smiths" are a dime a dozen in the corporate world, and quite interchangable. This is evident when time and again you see top executives like FedEx's Mary Alice Taylor quit to take a position at a company in an entirely different industry. That's because their real and only "job" is to squeeze more work out of us! They may not know a nut from a bolt, but they DO know how to put the screws to a workforce. And that makes it all the more important to build a powerful, unified Union Movement at FDX. Our goal isn't to "get rid" of Fred Smith or to force a "better" successor. Instead we must be prepared to confront all management teams, because they are basically "all alike" in their opposition to workers' democracy and rights.

June 7, 2007 9:17 PM

FEDEX WATCH said...

Take Action
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and FedExWatch.com support the daily efforts of all workers fighting for respect and dignity at FedEx. We believe the drivers, sorters and other workers will join with us to negotiate a fair collective bargaining agreement at FedEx.

Here's how you can help:

Alert your state attorney general. Ask state investigators to look into FedEx Ground and Home Delivery division's legally questionable "operating agreements." Drivers have been fighting FedEx's bait-and-switch in court and with regulators and winning.
Share your story. Tell us your personal experiences within any division at the company. The information you provide will shape a more effective strategy, counter the corporate lies and address your concerns and the concerns of fellow workers. We may quote or republish your comments, but your identity will remain confidential unless you tell us otherwise.
Collect and expose FedEx disinformation. Send us the communications you receive from your managers about the union. Or specific communications about the "independent contractor vs. employee" debate at Ground or Home. Or materials from the Ambassador program and copies of the Independent Times newsletter with your commentary. We'll expose the scam for all to see.
Send us court, regulatory or agency decisions and other supporting documents. We want to build a clearinghouse of information that workers need in administrative hearings and court proceedings. We invite anyone who has decisions from state or federal agencies and regulators to participate. We will protect your identity and post only what you permit. Help other drivers and workers prepare for confronting the company.
Educate and prepare reporters. This story of FedEx's pressure on its workers will only get bigger. If you are willing to be publicly identified and interviewed, send us copies. We will pass along your contact information to reporters looking for truthful sources. Have your voice be heard.
Don't let FedEx's corporate message machine dominate. Workers know the truth. Workers can document the lies. And workers can fight back and win.

The IBT encourages everyone concerned about FedEx to add their voice to the conversation at FedExaminer.com . The IBT and its affiliated local unions have no financial or ownership stake in FedExaminer and have no control over its operations or content.