Monday, August 30, 2010

Who's An "At-Will" Employee Now?

Since we started this campaign, we were always told by management that a union was unnecessary here at FedEx. But with the dismissal of four supervisors last week in Devore, maybe a union could have kept those guys still employed here?
With a Union in placed at a business there would be some monitoring of management, not by the company, but with the Rank And File of employees. Who would call out the in house management to take care of this problem, before corporate would have found out.
But corporate or managers don’t want to regulate itself, they don’t want rules, on themselves! But have no problems having you follow rules!
But who’s under the microscope now? Now who is an at-will employee?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Government for the People, Not for Fred Smith

By Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa
Published By The Detroit News on August 11, 2010

In the U.S. free enterprise system, corporations are not supposed to use the government as a weapon to punish their competitors. They certainly aren’t supposed to manipulate federal law so they’re treated differently than every other company in America.

And yet that is exactly what FedEx CEO Fred Smith has been getting away with for 14 years.

In 1996, Smith successfully lobbied for a special exception to a 73-year-old law regulating railway express companies. It’s a legal loophole that gives FedEx an advantage over all of its competitors. The loophole allows FedEx Express to make it almost impossible for its drivers to organize a union, a privilege denied every other large, medium and small package delivery company in America.

The House of Representatives recognizes that Fred Smith’s special exception is not only unfair but contrary to free-market principles. This year, House members voted to take out the loophole. That would restore the law to the way it was when first enacted in 1923.

The House vote was part of a bill authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration’s budget.

In the last three months, Smith spent $7 million to block the FAA budget.

That bill has moved to the Senate, where Fred Smith’s friends from Tennessee are standing in its way. Republicans Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker are thus holding up improvements in air safety, modernization of the air traffic control system and expansion of airports.

Of course Fred Smith doesn’t want people to know how he’s gaming the system. So he’s running a campaign to mislead the American public. You may have seen his “brown bailout” campaign, which accuses his rival, UPS, of asking for special treatment from Congress.

In other words, Smith spent $7 million in three months to preserve a special favor from the government. FedEx employees would prefer that the company spend some of that money on restoring their pensions and improving health care benefits.

Smith’s multi-million-dollar misinformation campaign relies on the fact that most Americans don’t pay close attention to the small details of big spending bills.

News reports 14 years ago tell the real story. According to the New York Times on Oct. 12, 1996, Smith has “one of the most formidable and successful corporate lobbies in the capital.”

FedEx’s lobbying campaign includes “A generous political action committee, the presence of popular former Congressional leaders from both parties on its board, lavish spending on lobbying, and a fleet of corporate jets that ferry dozens of officeholders to political events around the country,” according to the Times article, titled “Federal Express Knows Its Way Around Capital.”

The public is rightfully disgusted by people who use their wealth to undermine the public purpose in favor of their own. In this case, the public purpose is simple fairness. It doesn’t cost billions of dollars to tell the truth.

It’s too bad that Sens. Corker and Alexander are enabling one obsessed rich man to control Congress for his own selfish ends.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Your Working Money ...

Your working money that was taking away from you...

FedEx Spent $21.1 Million In 15 Months To Preserve Its Ability To Prevent Drivers From Unionizing
Currently, House and Senate negotiators are trying to work out the differences between each chamber’s respective bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. One key difference between the bills is that the House version corrects an inequity in labor law that allows Federal Express to operate under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), which poses higher barriers to union organizing than the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). FedEx’s competitors, such as the United Parcel Service, are governed by the NLRA. The Senate bill does not contain the change.

FedEx has been waging an intense campaign in order to preserve its special treatment, led by CEO Fred Smith, who was George W. Bush’s fraternity brother and has said that “I don’t intend to recognize any unions at Federal Express.” And according to Roll Call, in 15 months the company spent $21.1 million lobbying Congress:

Last year, it ranked 14th among all groups and companies in lobbying budgets, spending more than oil giant BP and defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The Memphis-based company also has tapped politically connected assistance, contracting with 14 outside lobbying firms that employ a number of former Senators. Not only is the Breaux Lott Leadership Group working for FedEx, but its founders, former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), are listed on the lobbying disclosure forms as personally working on the account. FedEx hired the international public relations firm Burson-Marsteller to work specifically on this issue.

FedEx has successfully lobbied multiple times to remain classified as an airline (and thus under the RLA), rather than having its ground operation qualified as such, pulling it under the NLRA. This time around, it has threatened to blunt its own growth and scaremongered about medical supply deliveries being delayed if the change in labor law is made.

Tennessee’s two Republican senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, have also pledged to defeat the change. But there’s simply no reason for this inequity to remain law. FedEx’s pilots have already unionized, without the dire consequences that Smith warned about. And in the meantime, FedEx’s drivers are subject to a law that makes it all but impossible to organize and collectively bargain, as they would have to unionize literally the entire company (across the entire country), instead of being allowed to organize at the local level.

Last week, the National Mediation Board — which oversees labor-management relations under the RLA — did away with one inequitable aspect of the antiquated RLA, ensuring that uncast votes in union elections no longer count as votes against the union. Congress would do well to keep the ball rolling, enacting the change taking away the unjustified competitive advantage that FedEx now enjoys.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Victor Viking Says

How are we going to fix this mess? I still think unionization isn’t a bad thing in principle. In fact, I have seen it work for me much more than I haven’t. Good unions create a system of checks and balances. However, it’s time for them to really step up their game. Seriously. All of them. Locals need to quit behaving like every day is election day and focus once again on maintaining regular progress for American labor as a whole. Members must abandon entitlement and remember they’re paying for a cause and a contract, not a birth right. Additionally, there are so many ridiculous, legal stipulations for organizing that workers have their hands tied unless there are good programs with proper funding. It’s all possible, but the movement desperately needs some real labor messiahs to lead it in the right direction — brainiacs who care about the future of workers in this nation, who understand tactics beyond the paint thinner and tire slashing stereotypes as well as how to regain public trust intelligently.

FedEx employees have been targeted for unionization for quite some time, and its employees really need to start paying attention now to the impending FUBAR situation. After having read many of the comments on the official FedEx threads, I felt such sadness for their plight. They’re warned not to associate with unions because “all unions want are their money.” Well, duh. Unions want you to pay dues, yes, because people shouldn’t have to work for free. I know how that goes; I paid dues simultaneously to two different unions at one point. One contract was terrible and not enforced properly by the world’s worst agent. The other was beyond amazing. I was happy to dole out dues to both, though, because even in the worse case scenario I was getting a better deal than most. What are you paying for? The negotiation of your future. Your insurance benefits. Your pension. Your raises and rates. Your vacation and option time. Mandated progressive disciplinary programs. Representation. Healthy and non-violent work environment. If that’s not enough, what do you want?

FedEx folks and others have also been frightened by their companies’ claims of corruption within the unions. Oh, THAT again. Thanks, Hollywood. Of course, there’s gonna be corruption. It’s everywhere: churches, school boards, city councils, the Girl scouts, charity groups, tax-evading Joe the Plummers, the Democrats, the Republicans, and so on. I can’t think of anything that could escape potential misconduct without proper effort and enforcement. Members get the leadership they elect. Corruption is a by-product of apathy. If unions weren’t such a huge threat to the wallets of corporate executives, they wouldn’t be regulated as heavily as the pharmaceutical industry. When you get down to it, corruption is not fueled by some guy wanting to fight for the right to leave his work station to use the toilet without fear of being fired. Really.

The good guys are not the ones who want to outsource and offshore labor. They’re not the ones who have to take a five percent cut in pay while their boss makes 32 million dollars. Union evil isn’t the root of corporate failure. Corporate failure is the root of corporate failure. (Read: Don’t blame bail outs on the UAW. Auto workers have been wailing about financial mismanagement for decades.)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Meet Jackson Lewis , FedEx's Inspiration For "FedEx Workplace Website "?

Jackson Lewis presents itself as a reputable "national workplace law firm," yet under its polished veneer lies a for-profit unionbuster. In fact, Jackson Lewis is one of the oldest and largest union avoidance law firms in the nation. Jackson Lewis counsels businesses on labor relations strategies that prevent unions from entering the workplace. By operating in the shadows of corporate unionbusting campaigns, the firm remains virtually unknown to the general public.
Jackson Lewis capitalizes on ineffective labor laws, the desperation of some employers to remain union free, and the use of scare tactics to portray unions as an enemy to businesses.1 One of the firm's lawyers iterates the modus operandi of Jackson Lewis best: "Jackson Lewis was founded on the concept of preventive labor relations, and we want to help our clients before there's full-blown organizing. We are a full-service law firm. We just don't do the legal stuff-we handle the campaign." As with other unionbusting firms Jackson Lewis profits off manipulation of a weak labor law system to help its clients avoid unions, at all costs.
"Preventive" Labor Relations Practices
Jackson Lewis sells a variety of services to employers to prevent workers from ever considering a union. Here are a few examples of the firm's activities:
* Vulnerability Assessments: The firm provides audits as the first step for employers looking to avoid a union organizing campaign. By assessing an employer's vulnerability through measures such as weaknesses in management-employee communication and levels of workplace satisfaction among employees.2 The assessment aims to create an "issue-free" workplace where management makes clear that their business desires to remain union-free.
* "How To Stay Union Free" Seminars: These two-day intensive workshops are for a "bona-fide management representative" only. Seminars with provocative titles such as "Union Avoidance War Games"3 take place throughout the country and run an employer anywhere from $595 to $1,595. Jackson Lewis promises a "frightening, valuable, and enjoyable" seminar that completely prepares "supervisors to exercise their union-free rights under the law." A 2007 exposé by a journalist who went undercover at one of these union-free workshops revealed how Jackson Lewis encourages employers to skirt the law when it comes to unions. A Jackson Lewis lawyer reasoned that it is acceptable to fire union organizers, as long as one creates a legitimate reason: "Union sympathizers aren't entitled to any more protection than other workers."
* Union-Free Books, Articles, and Pamphlets: Among the anti-union manuals the firm produces are suggestively titled newsletters such as "Union KNOw -a publication devoted to enhancing the union-free status of clients and friends of Jackson Lewis," and books including "Leveling the Playing Field-What New York Charter Schools' Leaders Need to Know About Union Organizing."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Constructive Termination at FedEx Freight ?

The term “constructive termination” describes the situation in which an employer makes job conditions so intolerable that the employee is forced to quit. Those employees may have legal rights to compensation when this happens.

Employers use many methods to force people out their jobs. For example, they might freeze an employee out of important meetings, give the employee demeaning tasks to perform, or increase or decrease work hours to an unacceptable level. They may allow the targeted employee’s co-workers to sexually harass her, or permit her supervisor repeatedly to pass her over for a promotion because she is African-American. Whatever the method, the goal is to make the work environment so miserable that the employee will simply quit.

What Motivates the Employer?

There are many reasons an employer might try to force an employee out of the job, from personality conflicts to dissatisfaction with performance. However, this method of going about discharging an employee can leave the victim confused and angry. Why would a supervisor, upper management or the boss do this? The answer is probably a simple one, such as:

Management is uncomfortable with confrontation and wants to avoid directly disciplining or firing the employee
The manager gets personal satisfaction from being a bully
Management erroneously believes that the company is protected from suit for wrongful termination if the employee leaves “voluntarily"

Damages Available to Victims of Constructive Discharge

Each case of constructive termination is different. When determining what damages are appropriate, the employer’s level of fault and the type of harassment may be weighed against any fault on the part of the employee. Depending upon the facts of your particular case, you may be entitled to recover:

Back pay
Pay that you would have earned in future had you not been forced out
Damages for mental distress brought on by your constructive discharge
Punitive damages; and/or
Attorneys’ fees

When You Are the Victim of Constructive Termination

What can you do when your boss or supervisor uses pressure to force you out of your job?

If you have quit due to your employer’s wrongful actions, don’t despair. Even though you are the one who ended the employment relationship, you have not necessarily let your employer off the hook. Courts may treat an employee’s resignation as a constructive termination if it can be shown that the employer deliberately made working conditions so intolerable that any reasonable employee in that situation would do the same thing.

Don’t let your employer get away with unlawfully taking away the job you trained for and worked hard to get. To find out if your situation entitles you to relief for constructive discharge, talk to an experienced California wrongful termination lawyer. With the advice of an expert employment law attorney, you’ll get the answers you need.

The Angela Alioto Law Group is dedicated to helping people who have been treated unfairly by their employers. Contact our firm at 866-590-6554 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Organizing Meeting At Local 952

Organizing Meeting At Local 952

DATE: SUNDAY, August 8,2010

TIME: 8:30-11:00 A.M.



Bring a co-worker to their first meeting or a spouse and
even an LTL,Express or Ground employee!

If Canada FedEx can organize, so can we!

U.S. Chamber of Commerce - SourceWatch