Thursday, June 11, 2009

Campaign Against Rival Could Haunt FedEx

June 10, 2009
By Stephanie Clifford, NY Times

The word bailout has gone from descriptive to derogatory.

The FedEx-sponsored Web site

(brown is both U.P.S.’s color and nickname) says that U.P.S. is “quietly seeking a Congressional bailout designed to limit competition for overnight deliveries.” Along with a “bailout-o-meter” showing U.P.S.’s revenue, and a spoof of a U.P.S. commercial, the site includes statements like, “This is a bailout, plain and simple, and the American people won’t stand for it.

The real issue here is not government-supplied cash for U.P.S., but the labor laws under which U.P.S. and FedEx are classified.

The House recently approved a bill that reclassified a FedEx division, making it easier for unions to form there, and FedEx is fighting that legislation as it goes to the Senate. In effect, FedEx is claiming that passage of the bill would be a bailout for U.P.S. by hampering a competitor.

FedEx’s casting of a labor-law dispute as a bailout has raised ire at U.P.S. and at the Teamsters union, which said on Tuesday that it planned to respond with its own public relations campaign.

Some advertising experts said FedEx was putting its own brand at risk by so aggressively attacking a competitor and accusing U.P.S. of taking a federal bailout.

“Hinging so much of this — even the site itself and the URL name — to a bailout brings some pretty significant risks,” said Scott Elser, a partner in LaunchPad Advertising, which is not working with either company. “It’s arguably one of the most controversial terms that you can define in politics today. They draw you there based on that, and you don’t have to surf very long to realize that this is clearly not a bailout as most consumers and business people would define it, which is writing a check to a troubled business.”

“It’s a little bit of a bait and switch,” Mr. Elser said, which “has the ability to potentially harm their brand.”

FedEx is objecting to a provision in a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that the House passed in May. The legislation would classify nonairline employees from FedEx’s Express division, which makes overnight deliveries, under the National Labor Relations Act rather than the Railway Labor Act, which currently governs Express as well as airlines and railroads. The reclassification would make it easier to unionize the division, since N.L.R.A. unions are allowed to form at a company’s individual sites; under the railway act, unions need national support from a majority of a company’s workers.

U.P.S., which is heavily unionized, is governed under the N.L.R.A. And it has been lobbying to get its competitor’s Express division classified under that act.

“FedEx is appearing to spend millions of dollars to try to convince Congress that a FedEx driver delivering a package is different from a U.P.S. driver delivering a package,” said Malcolm Berkley, a U.P.S. spokesman.

Mr. Berkley said it was a competitive issue for U.P.S. “FedEx Express uses the fact of the labor law it is currently under inappropriately as a lever when talking to U.P.S. customers, particularly when we’re negotiating our contracts,” he said.

FedEx’s labeling of the legislation as a bailout was wrong, he said.

“There’s clearly no way we’re seeking a bailout. In fact, what we’re doing is working to eliminate an earmark that has been given to FedEx for some years,” he said.

Executives from the Teamsters, which represents 240,000 U.P.S. workers, also said the bailout campaign was misleading.

“It is just the height of hypocrisy for them to allege that there is a bailout of their competitor, when in fact, it’s the company, it’s FedEx, who has benefited from this misclassification of their workers,” said Ken Hall, international vice president and director of the package division at the Teamsters. “It’s laughable to think that they would portray this as some bailout. This is simply leveling the playing field.”

While Mr. Berkley said U.P.S. was not planning a campaign in response, the Teamsters would, Mr. Hall said.

“Particularly, it’s going to be a grass-roots and an educational program to make sure that those folks in Congress truly understand the issue.”

FedEx, meanwhile, has been arguing that the different classification makes sense, since its roots and ways of doing business are different from those of U.P.S. “Our company and U.P.S. are fundamentally different companies,” said Maury Lane, director of communications at FedEx. “They aren’t and shouldn’t be regulated the same way.”

As for the bailout characterization, “that piece of legislation only helps one company while hurting a main competitor — if that’s not a bailout, we’re going to have to redefine the word,” he said.

Late last year, FedEx’s chief executive, Frederick W. Smith, signaled the company would fight hard against any potential legislation.

“We’ve said repeatedly that it is extremely bad public policy,” Mr. Smith said in a conference call with investors. “We would hope that provision would not see the light of day.”

Labor experts differed on the companies’ positions. Karen E. Boroff, the dean of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University, said she found FedEx’s arguments persuasive. “FedEx absolutely has a right to be concerned about tiny little bargaining units interrupting the flow of their delivery,” she said. And, she said, workers doing similar jobs were often classified under different labor laws. But James J. Brudney, a law professor at the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University, said that FedEx Express’s classification was “a historical anomaly.”

“From the workers’ point of view, it seems unfair,” he said.

Advertising executives who reviewed the Web site said that it did some things very well.

“I give them credit for inventiveness,” said Steve Centrillo, a principal at A-Team Advisors, a consultant to advertising agencies that is based in New York.

Pinning the problems on U.P.S. rather than on unionization helped FedEx avoid sticky labor relations questions, he said.

But, Mr. Centrillo said, the use of bailout was “the most questionably ethical thing on the site.

“It’s taking a word that is extremely loaded right now, and implying that somehow, the government is writing a check to U.P.S., which is clearly not the case.”


Anonymous said...

just think all of this talk about the unions and or teamsters would still be old news and this company would still be union free for another 20 years or so if they would have left the defined pension alone, kept the employees happy with their yearly raises and left our 401k alone. instead someone felt the need to screw with everything from benefits to raises to pension plans and add that to all the other dumb work rules they are comming with every other day and you have what has become a union mind set because all other ventures have been lost and no one seems to care about family values here. i remember 90 % of our employees were happy and 10 fit in ok, now 10 % are happy and 90 % don't fit in. what a waste. the teamsters are going to be the winners here and fedex can only look in the mirrors and see who caused this outcome.

Anonymous said...

This Maury Lane who is the spokesman for FedEx Express has his head up his ass, why does he not understand?. It is the employees of FedEx who seeks and prey for this Bill to pass. Hey Maury instead of creating brownbailout create purplebailout and help our brothers and sisters, who are losing their benefits,and their homes too. how much money are you getting paid maury? "MARIO"

frankiez said...

Think about this.UPS,a UNION company has been operating for years at a disadvantage structurally.That is they have been classified under the NLRB while Fredex had the distinct advantage of being classified under the Railroad Act.Giving it immunity from the employees organizing efforts.
Here's the food for thought(3floor,Mike,John,Russ,Henry-hell Fred Smith,Doug Duncan and the,"New",presidente of Fredex Freight).
How could UPS still be in business and be successful while,above being a doomed for failure TEAMSTERS UNION company,operating at a disadvantage against Fredex?
Can you explain this to me?
Or would it reflect upon management's abilities or inability.

Joe Nuno said...

Well let me just say, Rialto Federal Express just started spending your 13 million dollars on anti-union propaganda captive meeting today 6-12-09, and not just rialto but other service centers. Fred W.Smith the plague has just begun!... You be surprise how many are following... Joe Nuño and the FedEx watchdogs.

Anonymous said...

knowledge is power!.. when you educated and read the california labor law codes and read the federal law and then you will understand, that you will have no of the most powerful toll you have is your voice,by having no fear to cast the law to your employers is the power of the voice. here is an example in anaheim center Mike Hutton fired Tito Ayala on two wrongful reasons,one was that Tito abandone the job,which is not true.Tito ask CLC after driving 11 hours on the job if he could go home becouse he wasn't feeling well and he was granted the ok to go home when he arrived at his domicile.but Mike Hutton suspended Tito for abandoning the if you look in the archive of this blogsite under the post call food for your thought and read the D.O.T federal law, then Mr.Hutton broke the law himself.but the truth is Mike tried to fire Tito for union organizing here is the other wrongful termination, Tito was call in by Mike Hutton to come in and pick up his final check and was told by Mike Hutton and giving a notice for the reason he was fired,and the reason was that Tito pulled the wrong trailer to another service center.Mike Hutton fired Tito for organizing...knowledge is power..on Tito unemployment hearing,Tito had all his notes and records stating all the wrongful termination reason that Mike Hutton has done Mike Hutton had no notes and is a kick in the head santa clara H.R sent Tito a letter asking him to state why he had quit his job!! good job TITO knowledge is power from a pro union see you at the meeting

Anonymous said...

Frank Z, Joe NUNO, Cliff Armstrong, Rudy and Ray in SBO and everyone else

UPS is successful because it paid a $6.1 billion to withdraw from The Central States fund in 2007!!

UPS' move was widely regarded by analysts as a smart one, given the poor condition of the Central States fund.

Is this clear to you all now??

Now it's your turn.

Could you please explain how the central states fund is doing? How much money is left? Who's hand is in the cookie jar? How about we see your tax returns and see how much your all getting paid under "Recruiting"

3rd Floor

Anonymous said...

i agree with 3rd floor, can someone answer his questions?

Hoffa Life said...

A Union pension is better than a 200 dollar per month Fedex pension. Why do you managers continually lie to us and I hope all employees remember when Fedex managers said the 401k was a substitute for a pension. What a joke. The managers just tell lie after lie after lie after lie and expect all of us to believe it. Grow up Fedex managers.

irudedog said...

Well third floor i am not being paid to do this. Even some of your own red shirts have told us that they now understand that Joe and I are not in this for ourselves, they see that we have are fellow employees in mind!
Not like you who lie to them and say to follow the work to keep full time positions. Then end up making them part time with no offer to go back to their old terminals to cut their travel miles to Devore.Some commuting as far as 60 miles away!
And if you want some answers from us, why don't you grow a pair and put your real name!
Even you know it takes a REAL MAN to do that.
Thanks for reading our blog and commenting! Because you can't do this on fedex's website! Talk about one side!

Rudy Hernandez
P and D driver Organizer in
San Bernandino,Ca.
Twenty Threes years.

Joe Nuno said...

Guys stop wasting your time and effort on 3rd floor (Mr. Lake Elsinore) I know who he is now, I was told by one of his red shirt buddies who he is. Like I once mention 3rd floor in another comment I remember you Mr.3rd floor when you were a Terminal manager, but you were bitch slapped by Mike Jordan to almost nobody (supervisor) and you still don't learn your lesson yet. You think Harrison Arkansas is going to keep you under their wings? Think again. You couldn't even help your own kid in Fontana when they made him part time, by the way how is he doing? You are asking what happened to central teamster’s pension, well it was voted by the members to allow U.P.S to handle their pension fund (brain wash) like you 3rd floor. If you got the balls to put your name on your next comment, I will have Gerry Stack from U.P.S central region call you in devore and explain everything in detail O.K Mr.

Anonymous said...

talking about a fund not doing so well, how much did the new portable pension put in our retirment accounts and where did the money if any, come from. how much came from the lost 401k match we got screwed out of so it looks like we got something when in fact we may have gottn zilch. yesterday we seen a great turnout in oc and it looks like were going to have a future again.

Anonymous said...

When I see local managers and supervisors being cut then I will belive some of these so called 1000supervisors being layed off. So far I have not seen 1 manager lose his or her posistion. What I have seen is hourly people losing benefits and working hours along with full time status being forced to part time. Truck washers still washing trucks and trailers in this down turn, More Freight being moved thru my hub anyway and fedex making a profit $$ while we cant get enough work pants and shirts to look professional on the road. I hope the new contract gets us 1.75 up front and 6.00 over the lenght of the contract.

Anonymous said...

"the teamsters are going to be the winners here and fedex can only look in the mirrors and see who caused this outcome."

Why are the Teamsters the winners, here? Why isn't it the employees?
Do you really think the purpose of the Teamsters is to take peoples jobs and benefit from the company?

Fedex didn't "cause" anything of the sort. In fact, they are doing everything they can to stop the employees from organize themselves. Fedex is just doing what businesses do: conducting business. If you're smart, you'll do the same thing, and this time, you can get it in writing!

Northwest Watchdog said...

"This Maury Lane who is the spokesman for FedEx Express has his head up his ass, why does he not understand?"

He understands fine. He's making a business decision--something we need to do AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Anonymous said...

"How could UPS still be in business and be successful while,above being a doomed for failure TEAMSTERS UNION company,operating at a disadvantage against Fredex?"

That's easy: an organized workforce is more productive.

Anonymous said...

"Frank Z, Joe NUNO, Cliff Armstrong, Rudy and Ray in SBO and everyone else"

I'm one of "everyone else." The central fund isn't my problem. The fund that give a damn about is the fund I have at Bank of America: my checking account.

"Could you please explain how the central states fund is doing?"


"How much money is left?"


"Who's hand is in the cookie jar?"


How about we see your tax returns and see how much your all getting paid under "Recruiting."

Irrelevant/misdirection/scare tactic

Define 'recruiting,' asshole.

Northwest Watchdog said...

"i agree with 3rd floor, can someone answer his questions?"

And what does an answer to this question add to the discussion?

There will be no answering of these 3rd Floor creeps' leading questions. If they have points to make, then they can make them. Otherwise, we will just be muddying the waters for them, and that makes their jobs a hell of a lot easier.

If you want to discuss business strategies, take it to e-mail. We work too damn hard to make our livings to allow some creep in a Ronald McDonald costume derail our focus.

Hippy said...

"Guys stop wasting your time and effort on 3rd floor (Mr. Lake Elsinore). . ."

Oh man! Ain't nuthin' like Joe Nuno's boot in your crotch! Hahahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

Good job 3rd floor, you score some hits here! You got Joe, and maybe other people chasing the Strawman (Midwest Teamster Pension Fund) when they could be talking about the Western Teamster Pension fund (which we would be under) , and other more pertinent issues. I know you on the 3rd floor could give a rip about either Teamster Pension fund. You're just trying to make hay, push your papers, while hoping you doing get cut.

Anonymous said...

Good job 3rd floor, you score some hits here! ( you are a first class coward just like 3rd floor or 3rd floor also goes by C and last handle is cabbage patch) like I said bravo for him, 3rd or C or cabbage patch couldnlt even save his son from being cut and screw of his job!!. Mr.administrator please I ask if this mudd stirring idiot writes back, or C too don't allow their comments in, remember this site is only for people who are for the Union. Joe Nuño

Hoffa Life said...

Hey Third Floor,
You talk about the central states Teamsters pension fund, but what about that 2 dollar a month Fedex pension that ain't worth a shit. The Fedex pension is the worst pension in the trucking industry. Why is it UPS Freight employees make an average of 3 dollars more than Fedex Freight employees per hour plus UPS Freight employees have health insurance unlike Fedex Freight employees who have nothing. So UPS Dockworkers are making about 25 bucks per hour including benefits while Fedex makes 19. You need to open your eyes. Some people never get the big picture.

Anonymous said...

Good job 3rd floor, you score some hits here! You got Joe; No Andy Lessin Joe Nuño got you by calling you a first class coward, you can't even put your name coward. Yes that comment was Andy Lessin who also thinks Larry Miller will carry him under his wing. But after hearing what happen to Carlos Gonzales, I think this company does need the Teamsters. changefedextowin if got a comment saying F.U.Ahole guess who this is again? The first class coward, from a Wht Red Shirt who is tired of Andy's bullshit, yes I am also a coward too.

Anonymous said...

I say let the employees of FedEx organize their union, to all management don't go to lunch with an upper management chances are you might not be able to enter back or your position has been terminated! MODESTO CALIF..

Anonymous said...

Hoffa Life, I think 3rd Floor should talk about the FedEX Pension plan! The reason 3rd Floor talks about the Central Teamster Pension fund, and does not talk about the FedEx Pension fund is because that is something (an issue) like the Western Teamster Pension Fund, that does, or will apply to the workers at FedEX Freight. That is real real world information that pertains to us. 3rd Floor likes to throw out the Strawman issue; whether it be A Teamster Pension fund that doesn't apply, A gangster who was a Teamster in 1937, or whatever it is. They do this because they, unlike the TEAMSTERS they have nothing, or don't want to bring anything to the table! Hell, I think 3rd Floor took the table away! They really like to keep us all distracted. Aside from locking us in a room to see a movie; throwing the nonsequiturious Strawman is the best thing for them. They prey on the weak, and uneducated. I think most people here on the West Coast know we are not in the Midwest, or the Central States Pension Fund area. If there are some who do, they need to be Educated; Otherwise, all you are doing is barking at a 3 story tree.
And why does 3rd Floor always post stuff about the Central States Pension fund?

Anonymous said...

Andy Lessin is at it again. He is blogging in about anti Union when some of his own family are staunch Union supporters. Way to go Andy!!
Family first?

joe nuno said...

Let me say I am sorry to hear about Carlos Gonzalez being taken to breakfast and on the way back to the service center he was told he was fired. Yes this happened two weeks ago by Harrison Arkansas corporate members, this is chicken shit! Don’t say I didn't warn all of you about the new corporate. Carlos was one of the best managers I had ever known; well he hired me in the old Montebello terminal in 1987. Anyway, I am sorry to hear this happen I don't wish for this to happen to our old family members of the old Viking freight System, we once stood together, now we are being broken by a greedy Corporation. So I Joe Nuño says the company is changing and we must change and protect ourselves now! As employees we are going to need the union, the employees who are forming now to unionize are already the union... JOE NUÑO

Anonymous said...


frankiez said...

Cabbage Patch,John,Mike,Russ,Henry,et al;
Well,well,well,focus on the Central States Pension Fund all you want.I'm in tall cotton with my FREDEX pension.Yes sir got my first check deposited into my checking account today.Took them 2 months to get it to me though.I'm not complaining,after all I'm getting-hold on-after 23+ years with the company-hold on-$ 1238.19 a month.Took a lump sum on the NEW Fredex plan,that would have given me -hold on-another $45.00 a month,before taxes.Yes,taxes were deducted from the LARGE amount,so that is the net check.
I know a Teamster's pension would have been at least 3 times what I'm getting.I know,I know,Cabbage Patch et al,you'll argue the specific amount.Standard ploy in these types of arguments;the fact remains that the retired Teamsters are getting their retirement checks on time every time.Then too if the Central States Fund was in such dire straits it would be all over the news media,compliments,in some small part,of Mr.Fredex.
So attempt to deflect all you want,facts are facts and I just presented mine.Then too be careful I might request that you present facts to lend a degree of creditability to your positions.
That's IF you aren't taken to your final lunch like Carlos.Kinda like your last meal in prison before they fry you.
Then too,how about presenting Ben's story-CLC dispatch for years then Stockton dispatch for a few years.They f%$ked him over good AND,last I heard were attempting to screw him out of his pension and 401k.Perhaps Ben still operates with the old VIKING philosophy-They wouldn't do that to me-boy is he-we -wrong.They-Fredex-can and will attempt to do anything they can to render us to RENTED MULE status.That's a fact.
Cabbage Patch,remember when I was not for the Teamsters?For years,when asked,I always replied that we didn't need the union.Viking treated us with dignity,respect and fairness and as a result we were the finest LTL company in the,at least,west.
As stated previously I(we) didn't change FREDEX did.Orchestrated by the,"NEW" ex-Conway management coupled with the backwoods East's backwards management techniques(That's methods for you East folks).Now we're just another freight hauler.Fredex has managed,since 7/14/08 to turn us into a bunch of cutthroats towards each other.
Remember,the memory of you will fade but your reputation will stick for a lifetime.
Keep your resume' updated.

Unknown said...

Amazing how UPS seems to be asking for a level playing field. Does this mean that having a union is a drag on their company?

It is particularly strange to hear Teamsters saying this, as their union is the target of this UPS complaint.

Why do union members repeat subtle anti-union language? Don't we control the Congress? Don't we have Obama? Why then do we fall for language that states that unions are a competitive disadvantage?

Anonymous said...

i hope Larry Miller take Andy Lessin from whitier CA and Mike Hutton anaheim CA for breakfast and tell them you are fired for what you guys did to those union organizer Jesse Lopez WHT and Tito Ayala in ANH they broke the law

Anonymous said...

Rember when FedEX purchased Viking, and the only thing that was going to Change was the name on the trailers?

Hoffa Life said...

I remember that lie about the name of the trailer changing only. Just another lie it doesn't suprise me. These managers will kiss anybody's ass to keep their job. It feels like these managers misrepresented us and now we need to stand up for ourselves and vote in a Union to counteract these lying managers.

Anonymous said...

im waiting for that year in bonus they are holding for us im spending mine on new work pants and shirts. I hear they are giving us the money they pulled from our 401k match and the cost of living raises. Carlos was a good guy but Im sure he recived a good chunk of money thru this move. They take care of upper management folks but you and I, well that's another story.

Anonymous said...

We need the Teamsters in here with a new contract to help us get our benefits back. I can't stand this company's anti Union agenda.

Anonymous said...

Mr Andy Lessin,
He is marching all around the service center with his chest out bad mouthing the Union. I guess Andy thinks its okay to have workers lose their full time status and become part time. Because by him propping up Fedex he is just endorsing the fact that thousands of Fedex employees lost benefits

Anonymous said...

"So far I have not seen 1 manager lose his or her posistion. What I have seen is hourly people losing benefits and working hours along with full time status being forced to part time."

They lied to you, brother. Their P.R. department lied to the public as well. It's all about image, buddy. And they aren't about to let a bunch of lowlife employees ruin theirs.

Anonymous said...

"A Union pension is better than a 200 dollar per month Fedex pension."

What pension are you talking about?? They took that back long ago!

Anonymous said...

Hey Andy I cant believe you are starting with your lies again. You are just trying to deceive the employees and finally the employees are seeing through it. I think the Union needs to come do the march in front of WHT again to protest the way you treat employees. Go hide in your office Mr 3rd Floor Lessin.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, you have lots of question! You really ought to attend the next Teamster Meeting over at the 952. They will answer all your questions without the censorship you get here. It isn't like FedEx where they're always playing Parlor Tricks like with their brown bailout website, or that FedEx workplace site where you don't have a voice.

frankiez said...

Re:Andy Lessin at it again.
Mr. Lessin is perhaps drunk with power.Holding dominion over the,"workers",at Wht.
Well if anyone wants to take the wind out of Mr. Lessins sails visit this website:
It spells out the scope of his power and Fredexs' for that matter.
Bottom line Mr.Lessin is breaking the law.AND,there's a section for filing a complaint.
So rather than talking about what he is doing-DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!
Now,you've heard this before and you're going to hear it again-IF WE HAD A TEAMSTERS CONTRACT NONE OF THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING.If it was attempted we would have a process to get it stopped.
Then too remember your real problem is FRED FREDEX,Lessin is a corporal in his army-excuse me Marines.

peek a boo said...

Andy Lessin must be the harasser of the month. This guys is out of control. Union buster extreme.

Anonymous said...


Brown Bailout said...

The public needs to know that this 230-word bailout written by UPS lobbyists and inserted into the FAA reauthorization bill would result in increased consumer shipping costs, as well as reduced reliability and service of next-day shippments for medicines, critical inventory and essential goods.

irudedog said...

This comment basically lays out the main reasons that Fred Smith has
come up with to explain why most of FedEx Express should be exempt
from the same labor regulations that govern UPS.

In contrast, here's what a UPS spokesman, Malcolm Berkeley, says in a
recent Business Week article:

"FedEx is preparing to spend millions of dollars trying to convince
Congress that a FedEx driver delivering a package is somehow different
than a UPS driver delivering a package," Berkeley said in an e-mail.
"The packages aren't delivered by airplanes, and we don't believe
FedEx can fool Congress about that."

So, who do you think offers a more credible argument? It seems to us
that FedEx has been the one that has enjoyed an unfair competitive
advantage over the years.

If the legislation passes, Mr. Smith will have to live with the fact
that he can no longer use the Railway Labor Act as a tool to prevent
FedEx Express workers from organizing a union to negotiate
improvements in their working conditions.

FedEx Watch Dogs