Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our families, everyone at FedEx Freight and to all the Teamsters who have helped us move closer to organizing FedEx.

The FedEx Watch Dogs

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Nuño Family from Riverside California. I want to say to all members here on Change FedEx to win; Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...And for the others who get offended, because we say Merry Christmas, the celebration of Jesus Christ birthday, Happy Holidays! God bless you all and god bless America!

And for FedEx Corporate who hates Love, hates joy but loves money, Happy Holidays to you too!!!

And peace on earth for ever.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

FedEx employees should take note

The Ports are back to work after a strike by its clerical workers who were fighting from having their jobs being outsourced to India, have won. Ten out of fourteen Ports of long shoremen members in support of these clerical walked off their jobs. And the Ports caved in. They will not outsource these jobs. And when more employees are needed they will hire within the states!

So fedex employee when fedex gives your work away to Purchase Transport drivers, you'll know what needs to be done now.

The time to organize is now! Stop listening to management and their kiss ass zombies who don't have your best interest at heart.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

We would like to wish all our FedEx employee's and their families a Happy Thanksgiving Day! The FedEx Watch Dogs

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Love Twinkies ?

Wall street vultures are blaming workers for getting rid of your sweets—and that’s just not right.

You might have heard that Hostess Brands, the company that makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other desserts, filed for court permission to go out of business, and that its blaming a worker strike for the shutdown.

The Wall Street hedge fund managers who run the company have squeezed every cent out of Hostess for eight years. And they’ve put their friends with no experience in the baking industry in high-level management positions.

Hostess workers believe in their company, and we need to stand with them—sign our pledge to support workers, not greedy CEOs who will cut and run for a quick buck.

What’s happening here is a classic Bain Capital-style assault—blame the little guy to cover the greedy corporate policies that are gutting the middle class.

It’s not just happening to the workers who make the great products Americans love. What’s happening at Hostess is happening to workers all over this country. It’s wrong. And it has to stop.

Crony capitalism and poor management drove Hostess into the ground, not the workers who are now paying the price. In this struggling economy, the greedy corporate executives are willing to let 18,000 people lose their jobs—just so they can pad their pockets.

Hostess' executives are now blaming workers who’ve offered their company multiple concessions and want it to succeed. This is what’s wrecking our country.

Workers have borne the brunt of bad decision-making by executives who didn’t know anything about the baking business. And they’re the ones getting fired?

These brave workers need to know we stand with them—and we’ll stand with everyone who will take a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

or else ?


this text message from Dispatch was sent the day before a video was shown to us about threats at the workplace.

the majority of the drivers at that viewing tooked that text as a threat


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Prop 32

The FedEx Watch Dogs would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to defeat Prop 32. This will not only help unionized employees, but also help us non union companies. Thank You

Friday, November 2, 2012

FedEx accused of thuggish tactics with drivers

FedEx Accused of Thuggish Tactics With Drivers By WILLIAM DOTINGA ShareThis (CN) - FedEx's ground delivery system uses racketeering tactics, physical assaults, extortion and flat-out fraud to duck taxes and labor laws and dump legal liabilities on drivers, whom it misclassifies as independent contractors, according to a massive federal RICO complaint. Plaintiff Carlos Rocha claims that FedEx instituted much of the alleged racketeering in response to class action lawsuits from drivers. He says he formed his company, co-plaintiff Arize 11 Inc., at the behest of FedEx, "as a means for FedEx to shield itself from tax liabilities threatened by the IRS in connection with its widespread misclassification of employees as independent contractors." In addition to FedEx Ground Package System and its subsidiaries, Rocha sued former FedEx CEO Daniel Sullivan, current COO Rodger Marticke, VP and General Counsel Clifford Johnson, CEO David Rebholz and Senior VP of Global Communications and Investor Relations William Margaritis, in Chicago Federal Court. Rocha claims all of them were involved in the conception and implementation of the company's scheme. He also accuses defendant FedEx employees Scott Ray, Nathan Watts, Jennifer Betsinger and Ralph Stephens of implementing the scheme. Rocha's 104-page complaint, filed by Lisa Johnson with Anchor Law Offices of West Palm Beach, includes 16 causes of action, including RICO violations, restraint of trade, unlawful tying arrangements, consumer fraud, deceptive trade, fraudulent inducement, tortious interference, illegal deductions from wages, breach of operating agreement, breach of faith, unjust enrichment and retaliatory firing. He filed it in the Northern District of Illinois. Rocha says FedEx's plot began when it established a new home delivery business and offered drivers across the nation a proprietary interest "defined and measured by an assigned 'Primary Service Area' or 'PSA.'" He claims FedEx marketed the opportunity through all forms of media, including mail and wire systems. To run the PSAs through the new independent contractors, FedEx required Rocha and other drivers to execute a standard operating agreement. Rocha says the primary purpose of the agreement was to "circumvent federal and state laws and unlawfully pass risks, costs and other liabilities of FedEx to members of the public through a pattern of racketeering activities." Rocha says FedEx offered him a PSA in the Chicago area in January 2006, after he spent 2 or 3 months as a temporary FedEx driver to establish his driving record. He says FedEx also required him to buy uniforms, and "one of two trucking vehicles sold by or through FedEx and one of its associated suppliers." FedEx required him to buy either a 2005 Morgan Olsen Chevy Workhorse or a 2005 International, "which were more costly and/or less economical than suitable alternatives," according to the complaint. Rocha opted for the Chevy Workhorse, at a cost of $33,410. Rocha claims "the entire Standard Operating Agreement was a sham[;] the specific misrepresentations and omissions of material facts contained in the Standard Operating Agreement are numerous." Among them, Rocha says: a. FedEx "treated and intended to continue treating its contractors executing the agreement as employees for all purposes other than the shifting of costs, risks and other liabilities to such contractors;" b. It was the company's "regular practice at the time to terminate, fine and otherwise penalize contractors for failing to meet requirements unilaterally set by it and/or without reference to relevant industry standards or any other mutually agreed objective or standard;" c. FedEx endeavored to "terminate, fine and otherwise penalize contractors for failing to comply with numerous rules, procedures and standards established by FedEx in undisclosed handbooks and manuals independent of the discretion and judgment of the contractors;" d. Though it promised autonomy, "FedEx officers and managers at the time regularly imposed additional terms and conditions on FedEx's contractors and their continued operation and FedEx formally ratified and sanctioned such conduct by enforcing those terms and conditions through contract terminations and/or requiring contractors to execute mandatory addendums to the Standard Operating Agreement." Rocha says that in addition to the cost of his truck, FedEx required him to fork out cash for truck-washing at FedEx-approved vendors, and garnished his wages for vehicle insurance. He had to provide daily pickup and delivery service at times dictated by FedEx, though the operating agreement stated that he could make his own schedule. He says FedEx held him liable for customer complaints of theft, loss or damage, whether verified or not. He had to pay FedEx employees for their "cooperation" and had to lease or buy FedEx scanners, GPS tracking equipment and "mandatory use of FedEx's unhelpful and unnecessary mapping software." "The harm caused Mr. Rocha and other drivers by their detrimental reliance upon the misrepresentations and omissions contained in the Standard Operating Agreement, and by the unlawful tie-ins for the purchase of a truck, uniforms, insurance, and other business products and services, was magnified a hundred-fold by FedEx's failure to deal in good faith with drivers after inducing them to sign its onerous and one-sided operating agreement," Rocha says in his complaint. "First, and perhaps most significantly, FedEx never honored its obligation to pay contractors for any and all FHD [FedEx Home Delivery] deliveries or pick-ups transferred to other contractors as a result of its reconfiguration of PSAs as a result of increases to the volume of customers in such PSAs, and consequently their value. FedEx reconfigured PSAs and routes routinely without the involvement of FHD contractors and neither paid amounts due contractors under 6.4 of the Standard Operating Agreement or enforced the obligation of FHD contractors receiving such deliveries and pick-ups as a result of a reconfiguration to do so." Rocha says FedEx failed to honor its own terms for payment for his PSA, and ensured his continued work through "threat, intimidation and sheer force." "In furtherance of FedEx's fraudulent scheme and unlawful business practices, Mr. Rocha and other FHD contractors were threatened with termination and/or non-renewal of their operating agreements, forfeiture of their investments and/or other economic loss if they refused to blindly execute signature pages for addendums relinquishing their rights and other proprietary interests; purchase additional products and services from FedEx; accept unlawful deductions from their pay; and/or adopt and enforce operational rules promulgated unilaterally by FedEx in violation of its covenants contained in the Standard Operating Agreement. Many, who like Mr. Rocha had financed the purchase of their trucking vehicles and/or mortgaged their homes for that purchase, were also at times barred from the Chicago terminal and denied access to their trucks remaining in FedEx's sole possession post-contract termination under the express threat of their permanent taking as an additional means used by FedEx to compel the cooperation and release of other proprietary interests held by such contractors. Even now, FedEx, and contractors acting in concert with FedEx, have withheld access to trucks from contractors wrongfully terminated and/or discharged by FedEx under threat of a trespass complaint and physical attack for periods exceeding more than a year. Contractors were often physically assaulted and/or otherwise intimidated by FedEx security and falsely accused of trespass, theft, and other forms of criminal conduct to the detriment of their reputation, or threatened with such acts, in connection with threats of being terminated and/or divested of their investments," Rocha says in his complaint. Rocha says FedEx beefed up security at its Chicago terminal in the wake of legal victories for its contractors and "FedEx replaced managers holding master degrees with high school graduates more versed in the art of intimidation." "A physical attack on one of the individuals subcontracted to drive for Arize 11, Inc. post-ISP Agreement by FedEx security in March of 2011, combined with the fear of future assault emanating from that attack would be one of the contributing factors causing Mr. Rocha to give in to extortionist demands made at the time by FedEx for the sale of all interests he and Arize 11, Inc. held in FHD to Ralph Stephens," Rocha states in the complaint. He says he wasn't the only contractor to do so. "FedEx both threatened and committed physical violence against FHD contractors and their drivers to compel their cooperation and continued investment in FHD to further such schemes. FedEx successfully induced FHD contractors to give up their trucks, money, and other proprietary interests by threats and actual use of force, violence, and fear as well as the repeated threat of greater financial loss," Rocha states. After courts in California ruled in 2004 and 2005 that FedEx contractors were actually employees, union organizers flocked in to organize the newly labeled employees. FedEx sent managers to warn them that anyone seen speaking to or assisting union organizers would be escorted from the company's property, Rocha claims. "In a July 10, 2006 letter sent to contractors after Teamster organizers and UPS drivers were found to be distributing union membership materials to FedEx contractors, FedEx's Vice President for Contractor Relations issued a formal statement of FedEx's position against the Teamster organizers and allied UPS drivers warning contractors across the nation that no one would be hurt more than them by any threat to FedEx's business model posed by the activities of these organizers," Rocha states. "Perhaps FedEx meant to say that the contractors would be hurt if the lawsuits, organizing campaigns, and other such activities threatening FedEx's business model were successful. However, it said what it really meant: that any activity threatening FedEx's business model, whether successful or not, would result in injury to the contractors." In response to the lawsuits - including several pending class actions - FedEx revised its standard operating agreement, Rocha says. But rather than implementing the new agreement, he says, FedEx launched an even more complex pattern of fraud, extortion and racketeering. "FedEx further, through its usual means of extortion, imposed significant and at all times unlawful restraints on contractors' free trade and associated rights under the Standard Operating Agreement to, among other things, recruit, hire and train helpers and replacement drivers of their own choosing and use trucking vehicles for purposes other than driving for FedEx. Though purportedly required for insurance purposes, changes made to FedEx's insurance policies were part and parcel to the same unlawful scheme and retaliatory conduct underlying the foregoing trade restraints," Rocha states in his complaint. The old agreement permitted Rocha to use his truck for other commercial or personal purposes, provided he covered up FedEx's logo and identification numbers with plastic overlay. But after the class action, FedEx went to great lengths to keep its contractors from using their trucks to make other non-FedEx deliveries - a key source of income for the drivers. "FedEx confiscated the plastic overlay purchased by Mr. Rocha and other FHD contractors with their trucks for the purpose of using their trucks for reasons outside of work for it and effectively rendered these contractors entirely reliant upon FedEx for their livelihood, without supplement or a plan B. The foregoing restraint on contractors' use of their trucks significantly decreased the bargaining power of FHD contractors and only bolstered their economic vulnerability and effectiveness of FedEx's extortionist threats," Rocha says in his complaint. FedEx also took away Rocha's right to hire his own help, but still forced him to pay $750 for training and screening, as well as the drivers' wages. "As the only FHD swing/vacation contractor in Chicago, a contract position requiring drivers with above-average skill, but having no ability to offer the pay and security other contractors with designated PSAs could offer over the course of an entire year, Mr. Rocha likely suffered more harm as a result of FedEx's staffing restraints and interference than any other contractor in the Chicago terminal," Rocha's complaint states. "Though contractors may have voluntarily agreed to assume expenses associated with persons employed or provided by them under Section 2.2 of the Standard Operating Agreement, ignoring FedEx's fraudulent inducements, they did not agree to assume the expenses associated with persons recruited, trained and otherwise employed and provided by FedEx. Yet, after usurping contractors' right to recruit and hire their own drivers and helpers, FedEx issued fraudulent 1099s and other such documents to contractors in an attempt to pass to those contractors tax liabilities associated with the persons it retained and/or otherwise provided for its own benefit and purposes. After depriving FHD contractors of their right to hire their own help, in addition to wages, FedEx forced contractors to continue paying work accident and workers compensation insurance costs for the aforementioned persons they neither employed nor provided to FedEx through unlawful and involuntary settlement/wage deductions," Rocha says in his complaint. Rocha says he tried to avoid the tax liabilities by subcontracting with FedEx employees - until FedEx made it mandatory that contractors treat all help as their own employees. Rocha says FedEx's mistreatment of the contractors didn't end there. "In 2007, after informing FedEx that he was ill and running a fever, FedEx forced Mr. Rocha to drive rather than allowing a replacement to cover his route and Mr. Rocha almost died on the road when his gall bladder burst. Fortunately, Mr. Rocha had a helper in the truck with him when his gall bladder burst and that helper was able to gain control of the truck and rush Mr. Rocha to the hospital before he would have otherwise been pronounced dead. Though FedEx did not terminate his contract during the 6-month period he spent in recovery and a replacement driver covered his route, Mr. Rocha nonetheless suffered substantial emotional distress as a result of his being forced by FedEx to drive despite a debilitating fever and the complete disregard FedEx showed for his physical well-being and the value added by the deaf helper who saved his life, who FedEx later disqualified and discharged," Rocha says. He adds that since FedEx classified him as an independent contractor he has had no health insurance, and FedEx did not pay workers' compensation or for his replacement during his 6-month recovery. Rocha's first brush with termination came after his large service area required the purchase of another van and his agreement to hire a second driver, one supposedly already screened and trained by FedEx. "Mr. Rocha agreed to use the driver referred by FedEx and within months the driver was found to have narcotics in his system after being involved in an accident with a semi truck. As a result of the foregoing accident, FedEx notified Mr. Rocha of its intent to cancel his contract in 30 days if he did not acquire trucking insurance independent of FedEx. The day before Mr. Rocha's contract with FedEx was scheduled to terminate, FedEx fraudulently induced Mr. Rocha to transfer his PSA and trucking vehicles to another contractor under the false pretense that both the PSA and vehicles transferred would be returned to him after a period of six months," the complaint states. FedEx's terminal manager then handed over Rocha's trucks to another contractor, Handzon Enterprises, which told Rocha 6 months later that the trucks belonged to it, Rocha says. "FedEx thereafter barred Mr. Rocha from the terminal area where his trucking vehicles remained parked, misappropriated the extra set of keys provided to it by Mr. Rocha in connection with his operating agreement, and exercised complete dominion over Mr. Rocha's vehicles for Handzon's use in its business. After barring Mr. Rocha from his vehicles, FedEx told Mr. Rocha, without any contractual or legal basis, that the truck taken from him was 'bound' to his contract and threatened to file a criminal complaint against him if he attempted to access his truck or otherwise remove it from the property. FedEx further told Mr. Rocha that if he wanted his PSA and vehicles returned he would have to pay Handzon. His parents at risk of losing their home used as collateral for the purchase of his trucking vehicles, Mr. Rocha paid $4,300.00 to Handzon on January 26, 2007 in an act of desperation but Handzon never returned his PSA or vehicles. Neither FedEx nor Handzon had any intent to fulfill their promise to return Mr. Rocha's PSA and vehicles after the 6 month-period and conspired at all times to defraud him of both his vehicles and PSA," Rocha states in his complaint. Rocha says he eventually got his trucks back, after FedEx fired the terminal manager. But he says his $4,300 was never returned, and FedEx made him sign a new, revised standard operating agreement. Three years later - facing another onslaught of lawsuits, including a class action in Illinois - FedEx decided to shift its business model again. Rocha says he was told that his "swing" contract would no longer be needed because contractors would be responsible for managing their own time off under the new model. FedEx offered Rocha the chance to sign the new deal - the ISP - and he reluctantly accepted, with $70,000 of debt and a mortgage on his parents' home hanging over his head. He purchased more PSAs, trucks and equipment as FedEx required. For its part, FedEx brought in accountants and provided contractors with estimated revenue projections. The company showed contractors how they could shoulder larger costs and still make the kind of money the program promised. "The ISP Offer ultimately proved to Mr. Rocha and most other contractors to be nothing more than an extension and continuation of FedEx's scheme to circumvent federal and state laws and continue its fraudulent business practices," Rocha states in his complaint. He says FedEx also omitted from its ISP transition guide that it was being sued across the U.S. again - this time for wrongful retaliation because of the ISP transition. Rocha says that transition was part of FedEx's grand scheme to combine and reconfigure PSAs into larger Contractor Service Areas (CSAs), hand the larger regions over to corporate contractors and end its relationship with small fry like him. The promised financial incentives never materialized, Rocha said. Days after FedEx forced him to transfer his rights to his company, Arize 11 - and he refused to sign a supplemental claims release - the terminal manager informed him he no longer worked for FedEx and barred him from the terminal, Rocha says. He says that instead of the $1 million in revenue FedEx promised him under the new ISP plan, FedEx sold his contract and trucks to defendant Ralph Stephens for $220,000. Rocha claims Stephens never paid him. "Upon information and belief, after Mr. Rocha transferred title to his trucking vehicles to Mr. Stephens, FedEx further interfered with plaintiffs' sale by conspiring with Mr. Stephens and aiding him in the breach of his sale agreement and the unlawful taking of Mr. Rocha's PSAs and trucking vehicles. Upon information and belief, FedEx and Mr. Stephens conspired to defraud and otherwise extort plaintiffs of their vehicles and proprietary interests and Mr. Stephens continues to use the trucking vehicles he acquired from plaintiffs to service the PSAs acquired by plaintiffs for FedEx's benefit despite failing to pay for those assets as agreed," Rocha says in his complaint. Rocha seeks rescission of contracts, declaratory relief, restitution, and compensatory, treble, and punitive damages. The complaint includes 4 exhibits, including the July 10, 2006 letter that FedEx sent to its "independent contractors;" the Standard Operating Agreement, marked "Too Large to Upload;" the Illinois ISP Transition Guide, marked Too Large to Upload; and the Transfer Document between Rocha and Handzon. A FedEx driver in New York filed a separate complaint in Westchester County Court, White Plains. In it, he claims that FedEx required that its independent contractors to incorporate and that each run at least three PSA routes. Plaintiff Cowdrey Mullings said he had just one route, so he agreed to combine with another FedEx driver, who had two. Mullings did not sue FedEx, but sued the second driver, whom he claims took over his route, fired him, and got FedEx to blacklist him.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thanks Tito

Tito is an ex FedEx driver who still helps us organize out on the road.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Learn About Unions

Members of the National Taxi Workers Alliance receive their AFL-CIO charter. A union is a democratic organization of employees in a workplace who choose to join together to achieve common goals. By forming unions, employees can work collectively to improve working conditions, including wages and benefits, hours and job safety, to resolve disagreements of employees and employers and to find the best ways to get the work done.Unions also represent members and all people who work by advocating working family-friendly laws and policies through legislative and political action. Most people who work in this country have the right to form and join unions under the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which encourages union formation. Yet millions of workers, such as farm laborers, domestic workers and managers, are not covered by the NLRA. Many of them, though, are organizing and partnering with the AFL-CIO to gain workplace rights.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Smith: Woes Accelerate FedEx Change

By Bill Dries FedEx Corp. founder and CEO Fred Smith ended 10 hours of immersion for analysts and investors in changes at the Memphis-based corporation Wednesday, Oct. 10, by telling the group of 200, “I think maybe we arrived at a better strategy through the wrong process.” Asked directly if FedEx’s three-year transformation plan would be happening if FedEx Express hadn’t been hit hard by a lingering recession, Smith said yes. But perhaps it would be under different terms. Asked if the plan to add $1.7 billion a year in profitability, most of it through cuts in employees and other cost reductions, would continue if the economy somehow resumes 3 to 4 percent growth, Smith again said yes. What followed the short answers in both cases was as interesting as the numbers and repeated confidence expressed by the tier of executives just below Smith on the management chart. “Of course the business has deteriorated. That’s why we’ve done this,” Smith said of Express, the corporation’s oldest and largest division – the one with the worldwide fleet of cargo jets. “When we started going into fiscal year ’13, we were all thumping our chest thinking this is going to be a record year.” The reason for the optimism as recently as February and March was that growth in international trade for decades had averaged twice the global gross domestic product. FedEx is a company tied closer than most to gross domestic product. And for Smith the growth in trade is confirmation of his belief that the force of markets like China joining the world economy is one stronger than the recession. “There were recessions,” Smith said of decades past. “But there was a clear secular integration of the world economy.” Smith then expressed concerns, as he has in recent months, about the impact fiscal and monetary policies in Europe, China and the U.S. have had on that growth beyond the impact of the recession. “I’m not sure you can assume that is the same going forward that has been the case looking back. Our assumption is that it won’t be the same,” he added of economic growth in relation to global GDP growth. And he emphasized the cost-cutting measures remain in place even if the assumption is wrong. Of course the business has deteriorated. That’s why we’ve done this. When we started going into fiscal year ‘13, we were all thumping our chest thinking this is going to be a record year.” –Fred Smith “I can promise you that stuff goes to the bottom line like Sherman through Georgia. But we’re not counting on it as part of our plan,” Smith said. FedEx Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf resisted giving out any numbers on the coming voluntary buyouts until Wednesday’s final recap. The cost of the buyout plan will be approximately $600 million, which the company will divide over two fiscal years. Smith acknowledged the buyout and what follows if enough employees don’t take them will likely affect thousands of FedEx workers across a company that employs 35,000 worldwide. “We can’t just cut off an arm,” Graf said. “We have to do this by design and make sure our service levels improve. It depends on the take rate and how long we may need them to stay.” Some of that might be through attrition, which Smith said the Express and Services division see a lot of each year among employees working in direct volume-related areas. “Some of the folks will have to go to work at a different location to get the advantage of that,” he said of the impact on others. “We just don’t need as many people shuffling papers to clear items when we have the items online. You don’t need as many couriers and handlers when you have a system that allows you to schedule your work before it even comes into the station.” Eliminating those parts in what amounts to a transformation of FedEx’s technology is what Smith, Graf and other executives say was already under way when Express’ successful model met the ongoing recession and the policy decisions that have meant slow growth and slow trade depending on the continent. FedEx Chief Information Officer Rob Carter, who has been leading the move across the divisions to common information technology platforms, said he and his team found 237 systems in the corporation that managed addresses in some way. There were 302 address databases. “That’s not a particularly pretty picture,” he said. “We’re building these enterprise foundational services … with 80 percent less complexity and code and sprawl from the history of our applications.” Carter is working on four of the services – address, customer, label and clearance. And in January, Carter says FedEx Freight’s integration into the fedex.com framework should be complete. The FedEx global sales force is using common software – salesforce.com. The work won’t eliminate all of the differences in function. For instance, Express and Ground workers now use the same handheld computers but with different software.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

FedEx details $1.7 billion plan to shed jobs, aircraft and underused assets

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 10:04 a.m. Updated 2 hours ago NEW YORK — FedEx Corp., the world’s second-largest package delivery company, on Wednesday detailed its plan to boost profit by $1.7 billion annually by shedding jobs, aircraft and underused assets. FedEx aims to reach that goal within three years through cost cuts and efficiency improvements. The much anticipated restructuring is a response to a shift by customers to slower, less expensive means of delivery as the global economy struggles to grow. Founder and CEO Fred Smith said most of the cost cuts will come in the company’s Express and Services units, which have been hurt the most by the global economic conditions. Smith said a voluntary buyout program announced in August should reduce “fixed head count by several thousand people.” A majority of those employees are in the United States. Express is where FedEx got its start in 1971, and it is still the company’s biggest segment by far. The division moves 3.5 million packages on an average day, mostly by air. It’s been hit hard as customers shift to slower delivery methods, such as trucks or ships, to save money. Also, as technology products get lighter, FedEx charges less to ship them. FedEx has been disposing of older aircraft and reducing flights to reduce the unit’s costs. Express reported revenue of $26.5 billion in the latest fiscal year and has more than 146,000 employees worldwide — roughly two-thirds of those are in the U.S. The Services unit is FedEx’s logistics division, but it also includes FedEx Office, formerly Kinko’s. It was formed in 2000 and with annual revenue of $1.7 billion in fiscal 2012, is one of FedEx’s smallest units. It has 13,000 employees, all based in the U.S. Some of the money will be saved through improved technology that allows FedEx to streamline staff and operations, Smith said. It’s also trimming overhead. “The key is striking the right balance between volume growth and yield improvements,” Smith said in a statement following the Tuesday opening of a meeting with investors and lenders in Memphis. “With slow economic growth, however, the cost-reduction programs we will describe ... are also essential to achieve our financial goals.” FedEx spelled out more details of the plan during the meeting’s second day. At the start of Wednesday’s session, FedEx slightly reduced its growth outlook for the U.S. economy from just a month ago. It maintained its forecast for global growth. Among the cost cuts included in the company’s plan: expected savings of $700 million through a slim-down of its network — half overseas and half at home. It expects to save about $300 million in fuel and other costs from using newer planes, and $400 million by making staff more efficient and eliminating redundancies. About half of the cost reductions are expected to be put in place in the current fiscal year that ends in May. The rest will be implemented in the following fiscal year. The company assured investors that it won’t cut back too much — or too quickly — and hurt its revenue growth. FedEx shares rose 5.2 percent, or $4.41, to close at $89.99. That’s the biggest one-day percentage gain since December. Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/2752945-74/fedex-company-growth-cost-fiscal-plan-billion-cuts-million-smith#ixzz28znerv91 Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Friday, October 5, 2012

FedEx Express Expands ‘Priority Alert’ Services; Adds More Than 70 International Markets

Press Release: FedEx Express – Mon, Oct 1, 2012 8:00 AM EDT MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- FedEx is offering added connections and peace of mind for global customers who require the highest level of reliable monitoring for their time and temperature-sensitive shipments. FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (FDX) is rolling out a broad expansion of its ‘Priority Alert’ and ‘Priority Alert Plus’ inbound and outbound services—introducing them to more than 70 countries that span the globe via www.fedex.com/peaceofmind. These contract-only services, which had been exclusive to the United States, will also be offered domestically within Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, India and Canada. Wrapped with a bright pink tape, FedEx Priority AlertTM packages stand out from the rest, signaling their priority status when it comes to loading and unloading. Because FedEx Priority Alert customers ship critical materials for the financial, aerospace, electronics, manufacturing and healthcare industries, they need to know their packages are well monitored when minutes matter most. This is why the service also offers 24/7 support from a team of dedicated global service analysts. These specially-trained analysts provide an added level of proactive monitoring and notification of the status of a shipment, whether it’s moving through the United States or internationally. FedEx Priority Alert PlusTM goes one step further—proactive recovery. Designed primarily for the unique needs of the healthcare industry, Priority Alert Plus includes added services to preserve critical shipments, such as dry ice replenishment, gel pack reconditioning and access to cold storage to help keep potentially life-saving shipments safe, and to protect the integrity of the contents from start to finish. “While speed and reliability are key requirements for today’s global supply chains, providing end-to-end visibility with 24/7 monitoring and recovery measures meets another vital requirement—agility,” said Carl Asmus, vice president of Market Development for FedEx. “With the global expansion of our Priority Alert services we can improve customer service by offering priority boarding and monitoring services for their critical international shipments.” The global expansion of these monitoring services also highlights the company’s commitment to strategic international growth designed to make the global marketplace more accessible to our customers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

FedEx Express Rate Hike Could Hit Slower Service Users Hardest

FedEx Express Rate Hike Could Hit Slower Service Users Hardest Mark Szakonyi, Associate Editor | Sep 19, 2012 7:34PM GMT The Journal of Commerce Online Pricing imbalance reflects carrier's attempt to stave off shift to lower-cost options FedEx Express users of slower services will bear more of the brunt of the parcel carrier's price hike than shippers that use faster options, as the company works to slow shippers from shifting to cheaper delivery options,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

California nursing home ordered to recognize union and hire 50 employees who worked for the previous owner

The National Labor Relations Board this week adopted the recommendations of an Administrative Law Judge and ordered owners of the Yuba Skilled Nursing Center in Yuba City to hire 50 employees they unlawfully failed to hire after assuming operations of the center in September 2011. Employees at the home had been represented by the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare WorkersWest, before it was bought by Nasaky, Inc. Under the National Labor Relations Act, new owners of a union facility are obligated to recognize and bargain with the existing union as a successor employer. However, the union alleged in charges with the NLRB that the new owners failed to hire the longtime employees in order to avoid that obligation. After an investigation, Regional Director Joseph F. Frankl agreed and issued a complaint. Following a two-day hearing, Administrative Law Judge Gerald Etchingham issued a decisionfinding all the allegations to be true and rejecting Nasaky’s explanations for why it declined to hire most of those who had worked for the previous employer. The employer did not file exceptions and the Board adopted the Judge’s decision as a final order this week. As a result of the Board’s order, Nasaky must immediately recognize and bargain with the union and commence the process of hiring the former employees and making them whole. The amount of backpay and interest is expected to approximate $1.25 million.

Piggly Wiggly supermarkets in Wisconsin agree to settle numerous NLRB cases and keep Sheboygan store open

In a series of settlements with the NLRB, a Wisconsin supermarket chain has agreed to solve all outstanding cases with the agency by signing collective bargaining agreements with the union representing its employees, reinstating discharged workers, providing about 500 employees a total of more than $570,000 in backpay, and keeping open a store that had been slated for closure. The settlements signed by Piggly Wiggly Midwest, LLC, based in Sheboygan, resolve cases involving six stores that began in 2009 and were in various stages of litigation. As a result, the parties agreed to seek dismissal of a case pending in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Piggly Wiggly agreed to drop its opposition to the enforcement of a Board order in another case. A third set of cases scheduled for trial were resolved by a formal agreement that requires approval by the Board in Washington. A fourth set of cases still under investigation were withdrawn. The employees, represented by UFCW Local 1473, agreed to accept a reduced amount in bargaining-related backpay to facilitate the employer’s agreement to keep the Sheboygan store open. The outcome was made possible by the hard work of NLRB Region 30 field examiner Amanda Bahnson, attorneys Angela Jaenke, RenĂ©e Medved and Andrew Gollin, Compliance Officer Richard Neuman, and Deputy Regional Attorney Percy Courseault, and by the diligence and good will of UFCW Local 1473 president John Eiden and Piggly Wiggly Midwest owner Paul Butera. Charges against the employer included bad faith bargaining, making unilateral changes to wages and working conditions, unlawful discharges, and an unlawful attempt to promote a decertification petition. In May, the NLRB Regional Office in Milwaukee obtained a federal court injunctionordering the Sheboygan supermarket to restore full-time status and health insurance to employees whose hours were reduced to part-time without bargaining. The settlements were reached by the parties on August 31; the formal agreement is pending approval by the Board. Click here for website version

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Profit Soars 114 Percent at FedEx Freight




William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Sep 18, 2012 3:06PM GMT
The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story
LTL


LTL carrier profit hits $90 million, revenue, $1.4 billion, as shipment volume rises

FedEx Freight increased revenue 5 percent from a year ago to $1.4 billion as shipments rose 4 percent in the fiscal quarter that ended Aug. 30.

Profit soared 114 percent from a year ago to $90 million at the industrial freight arm of FedEx, which lowered its profit forecast for its new fiscal year.

That built on gains FedEx Freight made in the quarter that ended May 31, when its operating profit increased 93 percent year-over-year to $81 million.

The nation’s largest less-than-truckload carrier said higher demand for its economy service offering in all lengths of haul drew more freight to its LTL network.

FedEx Freight also benefited from cutting transit times on 6,000 lanes and a 6.9 percent general rate increase on non-contract freight that took effect July 9.

The carrier’s operating margin improved to 6.4 percent, giving the division a 93.6 operating ratio for the June-to-August quarter, the first of FedEx’s fiscal year.

The LTL operator increased its yield, a measure of pricing, 2 percent year-over-year. Yield increased at a slower rate than the previous two quarters, when it rose 4 and 6 percent, respectively.

Slower growing yield could point to a shift or an influx of freight to the division’s lower-priced economy service rather than its priority service.

FedEx Freight shrank and reorganized its LTL network last year to reflect priority and economy services offered in all lanes and all lengths of haul.

FedEx as a whole noted a shift to its deferred service offerings this summer as the global economy slowed, dampening international and U.S. express demand.

U.S. domestic average daily package volume at FedEx Express declined 5 percent, though higher rates boosted domestic revenue per package 2 percent.

FedEx Ground average daily package volume grew 5 percent, and revenue per package also was up 2 percent on higher rates, the company said Tuesday.


LTL carrier profit hits $90 million, revenue, $1.4 billion, as shipment volume rises

Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wbcassidy_joc.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thanks to the Teamsters, CDL drivers can go to traffic school.

Good news.



AB 1888 (Gatto) would allow commercial drivers who get a ticket in their personal vehicle to attend traffic school every eigthteen months to eliminate a "point" from being placed their driving record.



This is a big deal because federal law, until recently, prevented commercial drivers from in any way masking citations or attending traffic school. The US DOT issued an advisory opinion allowing states to let commercial drivers who get a ticket in their private vehicle (not the commercial vehicle) to eliminate the point associated with the violation by attending traffic school. This could stop a driver from sliding into "negligent operators status," which could result in a license suspension and loss of employment.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Teamsters push for independent FedEx board chair

Reuters – Mon, Sep 10, 2012 5:03 PM EDT

..

(Reuters) - The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is urging FedEx Corp (FDX) investors to push for an independent board chair, stripping that role from the company's chief executive officer, Fred Smith, citing share performance and executive pay.

In a letter to large FedEx institutional investors, the Teamsters said on Monday they are seeking support for their proposal for independent board leadership at the company's annual meeting on September 24.

"Having Smith as CEO and chairman of the board has lead to excessive executive pay and poor performance over the long term for investors," Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said in a statement.

FedEx employees, unlike those at larger rival United Parcel Service Inc (UPS), are considered independent contractors and are not represented by the Teamsters.

"This is a corporate governance concern that we push at a number of companies that we hold shares with," said Teamsters spokesman Galen Munroe.

A FedEx spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The Teamsters introduced their proposal for independent board leadership at FedEx in 2007, and have pushed for similar action at other companies including Republic Airways Holdings Inc (RJET) and McKesson Corp (MCK), Munroe said.

About 36 percent of all FedEx investors backed the proposal for governance reform last year, up from roughly 26 percent when it was first proposed in 2007, the organization said. The percentage reached 42 percent in 2011, excluding shares held by CEO Smith and his family.

FedEx shares are up about 6 percent so far this year at $87.96 while UPS shares are little changed at $73.05.

The Teamsters said FedEx stock lagged the S&P 500 Index (.INX) as well as UPS shares over the past three- and five-year periods.

FedEx, which reports fiscal first-quarter results on September 18, cut its profit outlook on September 4, blaming a weak global economy.

The company, which has been overhauling its fleet to add more fuel-efficient planes and delay delivery of others, is expected to provide more detail on cost-cutting measures next week. FedEx has also announced a voluntary buyout.

Meantime, the CEO's pay increased by more than $7 million in fiscal 2011 to $13.7 million, "driven by massive non-equity incentive compensation," according to the Teamsters statement.

"While the company's focus has been to reduce costs by restructuring and cutting jobs, it seems the sky is the limit when it comes to CEO pay," said Hall.

Currently, the board has a "presiding director" position rather than an independent board chair position the Teamsters seek.

(Reporting by Lynn Adler in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Should the 401(k) Be Reformed or Replaced?


By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

Published: September 11, 2012


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JOHN GREENE worked for 30 years at an Oscar Mayer plant in Madison, Wis., deboning hams and loading boxes of hot dogs. His 401(k) plan grew to $60,000, and soon after retiring he began withdrawing $3,600 a year from it, money that allowed him and his wife to take what he called a wondrous two-week trip to Scotland, his ancestral homeland.




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Andy Manis for The New York Times

LOSS The Greenes lost about 70 percent of their 401(k) savings in the market downturn. Some experts wonder if the 401(k) rules need to be revised.


But when the financial markets plunged four years ago, his 401(k) dropped to less than $18,000.

“We lost more than 70 percent,” he complained, even though a highly recommended investment firm was managing his 401(k). “They’re very risky.”

For Mr. Greene, 77, the money he withdrew each year provided him and his wife some breathing room — and comforts — on top of the $29,000 they receive annually in Social Security and pension payments.

But though it has rebounded a little, his nest egg has declined so much that he withdraws far less than he used to. The result: “We can’t do trips like Scotland anymore,” he said.

Like millions of Americans, Mr. Greene has suffered losses from his 401(k) even as such plans have largely supplanted traditional pensions and become the central pillar of America’s employer-sponsored retirement system, with 60 million workers participating in them.

Now, although Social Security and Medicare generate far more political heat, a quieter, more nuanced debate of large consequence engulfs 401(k)’s, the voluntary, privately financed plans that some see as a savior of American retirement and others see as an impediment: Should 401(k)’s be fine-tuned and expanded or should they be replaced entirely? And for many looking to retirement after the Great Recession, there is this pressing question: What to do about woefully underfunded 401(k)’s now.

David L. Wray, president of the Profit-Sharing/401(k) Council of America, an association of companies that sponsor retirement plans, said that 401(k)’s — and the Individual Retirement Account system that many people roll their retirement money into — worked well, despite some shortcomings. These 401(k) plans now hold $3.3 trillion in assets, seven times the level two decades ago. “If the goal here is to accumulate money, this system has accumulated more money than any system ever,” he said. “It’s been an incredibly effective accumulator of assets.”

But many investment experts and economists give the 401(k) system low marks. They note that fewer than half of the nation’s private sector workers are in 401(k) plans and that nearly a quarter of businesses with more than 100 employees do not offer 401(k)’s. Moreover, many Americans put only 3 percent of their earnings into 401(k)’s when investment experts often recommend saving 10 or even 12 percent.

The typical worker age 55 to 64 had just $54,000 in a 401(k) in 2010, according to a new report by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, and households with workers in that age group had $120,000 in retirement savings on average, if the money rolled into I.R.A.’s was included. That $120,000 is less than one-fourth the savings recommended by many retirement experts. Moreover, the center calculated, that $120,000 would provide an annuity of a paltry $7,000 a year.

Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at the New School and a leading critic of 401(k)’s, said, “Every good retirement system needs to have adequate accumulation for individuals, the money needs to be invested appropriately and the payout needs to meet the needs of retirees for life. Unfortunately, 401(k)’s fail in all three categories.”

She criticized giving $80 billion in tax breaks annually to 401(k) participants to nourish a system that does not provide secure retirement savings for all. Moreover, she said, 60 percent of those tax breaks go to the top 10 percent of earners — people who would probably save even without the tax breaks.

John C. Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard Group and an esteemed figure in the world of investing, also voiced sharp criticisms. “We have a 401(k) system that is profoundly flawed even as it has moved to the position of pre-eminence in our retirement system,” he said. “There are elements of the 401(k) system that are just unacceptable if you’re trying to build a system that accumulates for retirement.”

In his new book, “The Clash of Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation,” Mr. Bogle rattled off a list of 401(k) shortcomings, among them excessive Wall Street fees, misguided asset allocation and failure to deal with longevity risk; for instance, someone living to age 92, but emptying a 401(k) by age 82.

Mr. Bogle ridiculed how easy it was, despite withdrawal penalties, to take money out of 401(k)’s — whether for a down payment on a house, to send children to college or to buy a new rug. Likening 401(k)’s to savings plans, he said making it so easy to withdraw money was the opposite of what retirement plans should do.

read more

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Real Maguire - Who Actually Invented Labor Day?

While most sources, even the Department of Labor, credit Peter McGuire with the origination of Labor Day, recent evidence suggests that the true father of Labor Day may in fact be another famous union leader of the 19th Century, Matthew Maguire.

According to legend, Peter McGuire stood before the New York Central Labor Union on May 12, 1882, to suggest the idea of setting aside one day a year to honor labor. McGuire believed that Labor Day should "be celebrated by a street parade which would publicly show the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations."

Peter McGuire was a young, though well-respected, union leader. A child of immigrants, he quit school at an early age to go to work. In 1881, he founded the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, which would become the largest trade union of the time. Later, McGuire would join with his friend, Samuel Gompers, to found the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Through the AFL and the Carpenters, McGuire led the great strikes of 1886 and 1890, which would eventually result in the adoption of the eight-hour workday on the nation's agenda.

Recently, however, evidence uncovered at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark reveals that another respected union figure of the day, Matthew Maguire, may quite possibly be the man behind the creation of Labor Day.

In the 1870s, Matthew Maguire led several strikes, most of which were intended to force the plight of manufacturing workers and their long hours into the public consciousness. By 1882, Maguire had become the secretary of and a leading figure in the Central Labor Union of New York.

According to the New Jersey Historical Society, after President Cleveland signed into law the creation of a national Labor Day, The Paterson (N.J.) Morning Call published an opinion piece entitled, "Honor to Whom Honor is Due," which stated that "the souvenir pen should go to Alderman Matthew Maguire of this city, who is the undisputed author of Labor Day as a holiday." This editorial also referred to Maguire as the "Father of the Labor Day holiday."

So why has Matthew Maguire been overlooked as the "Father of Labor Day"?

According to The First Labor Day Parade, by Ted Watts, Maguire held some political beliefs that were considered fairly radical for the day and also for Samuel Gompers and his American Federation of Labor. Allegedly, Gompers did not want Labor Day to become associated with the sort of "radical" politics of Matthew Maguire, so in a 1897 interview, Gompers' close friend Peter J. McGuire was assigned the credit for the origination of Labor Day.

Secretary Solis' Labor Day 2012 Message

Friday, August 31, 2012

Could FedEx Do This To Us?

Without a Pension's Security
Once, Americans could expect enough money to take care of themselves after a life of work. The promise was pulled away.

by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

In “The Betrayal of the American Dream,” Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele revisit their 1991 Inquirer series, “America: What Went Wrong,” in which they forecast a decline of the middle class. Now, they document how actions going back three decades have left millions of Americans in economic ruin. Excerpts from their book continue in Currents every Sunday through Aug. 19.

Of all the statistics that show how the rules are changing for middle-class Americans, here is one of the most alarming: Since 1985, corporations have killed 84,350 pension plans - each of which promised secure retirement benefits to dozens or hundreds or even thousands of men and women.

Corporations offer many explanations and excuses for why they are cutting down a vital safety net for Americans, but it all comes down to money. The money saved by not funding employee pensions now goes for executive salaries, dividends, or some pet project of a company's CEO. Congress went along and even compounded the betrayal by pretending that the change was in employees' best interest.

What this means is that fewer and fewer Americans will have enough money to take care of themselves in their later years. As with taxes and trade, Congress has been pivotal in granting favors to the most powerful corporations. Lawmakers have written pension rules that encourage businesses to underfund their retirement plans or switch to plans less favorable to employees.

These rules deny workers the right to sue to enforce retirement promises. Lawmakers have also written bankruptcy regulations to allow corporations to scrap the health-insurance coverage they promised to employees who retired early - including workers who were forced into early retirement. Congress has enacted legislation that adds to the cost of retirement. One by one, policies that once afforded at least the possibility of a secure retirement to many seniors have been undermined or destroyed, while at the same time Congress has allowed corporations to repudiate lifetime-benefit agreements.

for more information go to:
http://articles.philly.com/2012-08-13/news/33168224_1_retirement-age-pension-rules-retirement-benefits

Monday, August 27, 2012

True Heroes & A Tale Of Two Children:

Taken from unionize.org website

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.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Income inequity anyone? (Not a job creator)

Now, those of you who claim the wealthy to be "job creators" and that they need lots of money are wrong.
This guy does not create job #1 with his own money. Amazing how the CEO gets a huge raise while they are looking for ways to jettison employees.


FedEx CEO Frederick Smith Sees Pay Nearly Double To $13.7 Million
By SAMANTHA BOMKAMP 08/14/12 09:56 AM ET AP

NEW YORK -- The founder and top executive at FedEx Corp. received a pay package worth $13.7 million in the most recent fiscal year, nearly double a year earlier.

That hike for CEO and Chairman Frederick W. Smith was due to the addition of long-term incentive pay, which rewards the company's top brass for meeting certain earnings thresholds over a three-year period. It was the first time in four years that FedEx executives got long-term incentive pay. The company said significant earnings per share growth since the recession resulted in executives collecting maximum payments in fiscal 2012, which ended in May. Full-year earnings per share jumped 70 percent from fiscal 2010 to 2012.

The rest of the payout to Smith rose only slightly from a year ago. The 68-year old executive, who started FedEx in 1971, took home a $1.3 million salary in the year that ended in May, a 2 percent increase from the year before. Smith didn't receive any new stock awards, but the value of his option awards rose 3 percent to $5.4 million.

A performance-based cash bonus, which incorporates Smith's annual and long-term incentive pay, soared to more almost $6.6 million from $375,000 in fiscal 2011. About $5.3 million of that was the reward for long-term performance.

The value of Smith's perks, which included everything from a company retirement plan contribution to use of corporate jets, rose 10 percent to $470,971.

While FedEx's earnings have accelerated rapidly since the recession, the world's second-largest package delivery has indicated recently that it's not immune to global economic conditions.

In June it warned that the world's slowing economies will crimp its earnings through next year. It has trimmed its fleet of airplanes and offered thousands of workers buyouts to counter a falloff in demand. The Memphis, Tenn., company's forecast for the fiscal first quarter fell below Wall Street's expectations, while its range for the year was below most analysts' views.

FedEx is closely watched for signs about the health of the economy, because of the millions of packages it delivers every day. It forecast only moderate growth for both the U.S. and the world economies, citing the debt crisis in Europe and a slowdown in Asia.

FedEx's larger competitor, Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc., also cited slowing Asian shipments as it reported lower-than-expected first-quarter results in late April. Much of UPS' profit growth came from its core U.S. business, where revenue was up on higher volume and prices. That was offset by a shift toward lighter packages and slower shipping methods.

The AP calculation of executive pay packages is based on a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It aims to isolate the value company boards place on CEO's total compensation package. It includes salary, bonus, incentives, perks and the estimated value of stock options and awards.
• Location: Not a job creator
•it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Monday, August 13, 2012

FedEx to offer US staff buyouts in cost cut effort

NEW YORK (AP) -- FedEx will soon begin offering buyouts to U.S. employees in an effort to cut costs in the face of a weakening global economy.

The world's second largest package delivery company hinted at cutbacks earlier this summer when it said that slowing economic growth would crimp its earnings well into next year. It has already removed some aircraft from its fleet of more than 600 to account for a loss of demand.

While FedEx hasn't yet decided how many positions will be eliminated, it will likely focus on slow-growth areas like its Express and Services units.

Express is where FedEx got its start in 1971, and it's still the company's biggest segment by far. The speedy shipping division, which moves 3.5 million packages on an average day, has been hit hard as people shift to slower delivery methods to conserve cash. The unit is also being dragged down slowing Asian growth and a reduction in demand for Asian goods from the U.S. and Europe. The unit reported revenue of $26.5 billion in the latest fiscal year and has more than 146,000 employees worldwide — 102,000 of those in the U.S.

Services is FedEx's behind-the-scenes logistics division, but it also includes FedEx Office, formerly Kinko's. It was formed in 2000 and with annual revenue of $1.7 billion in 2012, is one of FedEx's smallest units. It has 13,000 employees, all of whom are U.S. based.

FedEx said those that are close to retirement are also eligible for buyouts.

When it reported fourth-quarter earnings in June, FedEx vowed significant cost cuts to offset any drop in shipments. Its forecast for the first-quarter, which ends this month, fell well below Wall Street expectations.

And second-quarter results released in late July by larger rival United Parcel Service Inc. suggested that the global economic slowdown may be even worse than FedEx anticipated.

UPS lowered its forecast for all of 2012 and said its third-quarter earnings will fall below last year's results, with many customers fearing what's in store for the second half of the year. Their skittishness was also felt in the second quarter, where UPS missed analysts' expectations for both earnings and revenue.

UPS also said it's making cuts in its business to make up for the shortfall. It predicts global trade will grow even slower than the world's economies — a trend not seen since the recession.

Shares of FedEx Corp. fell 3 cents to close at $87.77 Monday. UPS lost 15 cents to hit $76.15.

US Says FedEx Broke Rules on Hazardous Shipments

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. safety regulators are seeking a $681,200 civil penalty against FedEx, saying that the package-delivery company violated rules on shipping hazardous material two years ago.

Paperwork on several dozen shipments failed to properly describe the nature or amount of material being shipped, according to regulators.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that the violations occurred around the country and were discovered during an inspection of FedEx operations in the Los Angeles area.

The FAA said FedEx failed to give pilots accurate information about hazardous shipments on 19 flights to and from Los Angeles in August 2010. It said FedEx also failed to document hazardous-materials training and testing for three people whose jobs included accepting shipments.

FedEx Corp. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has 30 days to respond to the FAA. Airlines and cargo companies frequently negotiate lower penalties with the agency.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

YRC Worldwide Earns Operating Profit

YRC Worldwide Earns Operating Profit


William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 3, 2012 2:00PM GMT
The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story
LTL
| Economy
| Trucking
| North America
| United States





First operating profit from freight since 2008 on $1.25 billion in second quarter revenue

Trucking giant YRC Worldwide reported an operating profit of $15.5 million in the second quarter while cutting its net loss 47 percent to $22.6 million.

The $15.5 million gain is the $4.9 billion less-than-truckload operator’s first operating profit attributable to freight operations since the third quarter of 2008.

“We are producing results slightly ahead of our forecast, despite the recently softening economy,” James Welch, YRC Worldwide CEO, said in a statement Friday.

“Our focused approach to pricing discipline, customer mix management and cost initiatives has driven year-over-year improvement in our business,” he said.

YRC’s regional carrier group, which includes Holland, New Penn Motor Express and Reddaway, increased its operating profit by 55.7 percent to $22.9 million.

The regional carrier group increased revenue 7 percent year-over-year to $429.8 million as tonnage rose 4.4 percent and shipments, 2.5 percent.

“Holland, New Penn and Reddaway are increasing market share and leveraging their operational improvements to enhance profitability,” Welch said.

At long-haul LTL carrier YRC Freight, tonnage and shipments dropped 3.3 percent and 2.1 percent from a year ago. The carrier had a $5.1 million operating loss.

YRC Freight completed a network reorganization in the second quarter designed to speed freight to receivers with less handling and reduce transit times.

YRC Worldwide ended the quarter with $248.7 million in liquidity, the company’s best second-quarter liquidity level since 2008, CFO Jamie Pierson said.

The holding company reduced its “cash burn” from operating activities by $44.7 million year-over-year, despite higher interest and pension expenses, he said.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Federal Judge orders Los Angeles recycling firm to stop threatening union supporters and offer reinstatement to fired employees

August 02, 2012
Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
202-273-1991
publicinfo@nlrb.gov
www.nlrb.gov


A federal judge has ordered American Reclamation, Inc., a Los Angeles trash hauling and recycling service, to stop violating federal labor laws by threatening employees with dismissal for supporting a union, among other things, and to offer interim reinstatement to three employees who were fired.

Judge Dean D. Pregerson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued the temporary injunction on Tuesday at the request of the NLRB, while the case is pending before Administrative Law Judge William Kocol. The injunction will remain in effect until the NLRB process is complete.

A complaint issued by the NLRB Regional Office in Los Angeles in April alleged that American Reclamation engaged in multiple unfair labor practices beginning in early October 2011, during a union organizing campaign. The company allegedly threatened employees that they would be fired for supporting the union and that the company would be closed or sold if the employees voted for the union. In addition, company officials unlawfully promised improved working conditions, including better safety equipment, to discourage their support for the union.

Two employees who openly supported the union were discharged in October 2011, and a third was discharged in January 2012 after photographing hazardous materials and encouraging employees to voice concerns about hazardous materials they were handling. The injunction orders the company to offer reinstatement to the three employees, and to read the order to all employees.

Attorneys Juan Carlos Ochoa Diaz and J. Carlos Gonzalez represented the Board in this matter in the District Court.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Purchase Transport First. Not FedEx Employees?

This morning at SBO a line driver was working the dock and had not been dispatched to hit the road. So he called clc to ask if there were any runs yet for him to take. Clc's answer was that "they" clc had to take care of the "Purchase Transport" drivers first and then if there was any trailers to move than he could run!

This is just another example of why we need to organize our workplace here at FedEx freight. This company does not have your better interest at heart. And whatever answer the company will come up with, is just B.S.!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Must Read For Organizer, Managers,Red Shirts And Kiss A....

July 24, 2012
Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
202-273-1991
publicinfo@nlrb.gov
www.nlrb.gov


Baked-goods manufacturer Sterling Foods, LLC, has agreed to pay more than $58,000 in back pay and interest to six employees who were discharged in the fall of 2011 following a union organizing campaign. Three of the employees have also accepted offers of reinstatement to their previous jobs.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local Union No. 455 filed charges alleging the employer engaged in multiple unfair labor practices during and after the union’s attempt to organize about 500 employees at the San Antonio, Texas facility. An election petition was not filed.

Following an investigation by regional staff, NLRB Regional Director Martha Kinard issued a complaint alleging that, in response to the union’s campaign, Sterling Foods unlawfully discharged six employees, threatened to terminate other employees, solicited an employee to report on union activities, offered an employee a financial benefit if he reported the union activities of employees, engaged in surveillance of employee union activities, called the police on employees and union organizers engaged in union activity, prohibited employees from accepting union literature and directed employees to throw away union literature. A hearing on the complaint had been scheduled to start on August 6, 2012 in San Antonio.

The Regional Director had also filed a petition with the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, seeking a temporary injunction against Sterling Foods’ unfair labor practices and an interim order of reinstatement of the six discharged employees. A hearing on that petition had been scheduled for July 19, 2012.

The settlement, signed on July 13, 2012, eliminates the need for both hearings. Sterling Foods also agreed not to engage in such unfair labor practices in the future, to post a notice to that effect at its San Antonio facility, and to mail a copy of the notice to all employees.

Friday, July 20, 2012

In Response to "The Only Smart One"

Dear "The Only Smart One",

Of course Unions criticize executive pay. The median income of a FedEx Truck Driver is $47,477, whereas, the income of Fredrick W. Smith in 2010 was $7,419,362; to put that in perspective, it would take one driver 155 years to make the same amount of money that Mr. Smith does in one year. These wages are not perceived as "low", they actually are low. UPS, a unionized competitor of FedEx, pay their Truck Drivers a median income of $62,000. That is about $14,523 more a year. The fact of the matter is that higher wages do not always require concessions in quality assurance, productivity, or product costs because that money could easily be taken out of the ridiculous amount of profit that the company makes.

Your assertion that union campaigns are designed to "tarnish the reputation of large conglomerates by using political pressure and allegations of poor corporate citizenship" is completely false. Let's just think about your assertion from a purely logical standpoint. Why would the Teamsters want to ruin the reputation of the company they will soon be affiliated with? In fact, I have never attended an organizing meeting in which the reputation of FedEx was infringed upon. If the "allegations of poor corporate citizenship" you are referring to are the complaints about low wages, unsafe working conditions, the lack of job security, the lack of a pension plan and the lack of healthcare benefits during retirement, then I would have to say that those allegations are so much more than accusations, they are the reality that thousands of FedEx employees face every day. Why are you on the side of a company that doesn't take responsibility for its workers? Do you think that it is fair that a hard working Truck Driver, that actually provides the manpower for this company to exist, has to rely on welfare when they retire because they do not have a pension plan or any health benefits? When you say that an increase in wages impacts the cost and quality of healthcare, do you think that putting more people on welfare, a system that dramatically impacts the entire healthcare system, is really a better option?

Yes, the union membership has declined dramatically. But if you were actually "smart", you would know that scholars credit this decline to many factors. Unions used to be the pride of America and it was something to be proud of. Unfortunately, culture shifts that started in the 50's began to devalue the role of the hard working Union man and began to put the spotlight and pride on the white collar corporate man. Political trends of neoliberalism amalgamated with the devaluation of the American Blue Collar Worker and the attrition of the middle class were all components to dwindling numbers. You would know this, if, you know, you actually researched the topic rather than getting your "knowledge" from whatever the man in the nice suit on TV tells you.
And as for the problems with unions, every organization has its issues. However, I think I'd rather place my bet on an organization whose leader only makes $300,000 a year, who provides his members with pensions, healthcare benefits in retirement, and a voice, over a man who makes over 7 million dollars a year, whose greed compels him to constantly slash his hard-workers' meager wages and benefits. Finally, pertaining to your claim that employers would sit down with employees to work through these problems, I just have one question for you; if it would be so easy to facilitate such a meeting, why do these problems still exist?

One last thing, as Shakespeare would say, “the fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”. So cheers to you! Mr. Self Proclaimed "Smart One"

Sincerely,
Cathleen A. Hernandez

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ONG. Anti Union Meeting Round Two ...

Today at our terminal in ONG, we had another anti union meeting again. Nate our regional HR representative, and Rob Leach, HR from corporate. This guy is a true actor. His face got all emotional and his eyes got all glassy like he wanted to cry, saying “look guys I’ve been on the side of a union and I have nothing good to say about them.

He told us, “even if the union were to come in here at FedEx, (a union is a group of employees who united and vote for union representation, we the FedEx employees are the union) we will pay union dues with our same pay. And that the union has no right to tell FedEx that we are going to get a pay raise, (this is all negotiated with a contract, approved by the FedEx employees). This is why UPS freight is going to make more than us per hour, because they have a contract! FACT

Don’t fall for Rob’s B.S. if you see him at your hub!

We asked if more changes were to come here at FedEx if we didn’t vote UNION. His response was “well guys I don’t have an answer for that right now. That’s right Rob you don’t and never will have an answer!

We need to ORGANIZE to have a TRUE VOICE at FedEx! A “UNION” is “POWER”, for ALL dock workers, line and city drivers, also clerical and mechanics!

THE TIME TO ORGANIZE IS NOW! BE WISE AND ORGANIZE!

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'll Give You A Burrito If You Don't Side With The Teamsters

Today at our terminal in Orange our TM said "come on guys I'm being nice to you... Don't chose the wrong route of going union".

Next thing we knew it, he bought us breakfast burritos and promised us some Angel tickets!

I'll remember this day when I'm voting "YES" for Teamster Representation!

P. S. Thanks for the burritos Frank.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Anti Union Meeting

There was a anti union meeting held on June 27th 2012 at our Anaheim service center. The meeting was given by Frank Valentine, Terminal Manager and Nathan King of Human Resource. It was a lack luster meeting with most of the employees in attendance saying that these managers do not know what they are talking about, when it comes to talking about what the Teamsters are all about.

But Thank You Frank and Nathan for letting us all know that FedEx is running scared!

THE TIME TO ORGANIZE IS NOW! BE WISE AND ORGANIZE!

RUDY HERNANDEZ

P.S.
Thank You all, who have filled out our sign up sheet this week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NRLB New "Protected Concerted Activity" Website

Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
202-273-1991
publicinfo@nlrb.gov
www.nlrb.gov


The National Labor Relations Board today made public a webpage that describes the rights of employees to act together for their mutual aid and protection, even if they are not in a union.

The page, at www.nlrb.gov/concerted-activity, tells the stories of more than a dozen recent cases involving protected concerted activity, which can be viewed by clicking points on a map. Among the cases: A construction crew fired after refusing to work in the rain near exposed electrical wires; a customer service representative who lost her job after discussing her wages with a coworker; an engineer at a vegetable packing plant fired after reporting safety concerns affecting other employees; a paramedic fired after posting work-related grievances on Facebook; and poultry workers fired after discussing their grievances with a newspaper reporter.

Some cases were quickly settled after charges were filed, while others progressed to a Board decision or to federal appellate courts. They were selected to show a variety of situations, but they have in common a finding at some point in the NLRB process that the activity that the employees undertook was protected under federal labor law.

The right to engage in certain types of concerted activity was written into the original 1935 National Labor Relations Act’s Section 7, which states that: “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all such activities.”

That right has been upheld in numerous decisions by appellate courts and by the U.S. Supreme Court over the years. Non-union concerted activity accounts for more than 5% of the agency’s recent caseload.

“A right only has value when people know it exists,” said NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce. “We think the right to engage in protected concerted activity is one of the best kept secrets of the National Labor Relations Act, and more important than ever in these difficult economic times. Our hope is that other workers will see themselves in the cases we’ve selected and understand that they do have strength in numbers.”

Click here for website version

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Conway Employee's Got The Right Idea - A Post From Change Conway To Win Blog

We deserve better

Posted: 10 Jun 2012 08:10 PM PDT

Fellow Southern California UFV, UIV, ULA, ULB, ULX, UOR, USB, USD, UVC, now is the time to organize to combat favoritism, discrimination, abuse of power by supervisors, and punishment for insignificant things. It's time for a stress-free environment, to be treated humanely and not as a number. We need to communicate, educate and inform ourselves. We don't need to be in fear of fighting for our working rights. We deserve better treatment, respect, and dignity. Let’s organize to have a voice and stop this hostile work environment.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

FedEx Freight to Raise Truck Pricing 6.9 Percent

William Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 8, 2012 5:33PM GMT

FedEx Freight, the nation’s largest stand-alone less-than-truckload carrier, is first out of the gate to raise pricing this summer with a 6.9 percent rate hike to take effect on July 9.

The industrial freight arm of FedEx also will adjust absolute minimum charges and accessorial rates and charges, but said its fuel surcharge will remain unchanged. The general rate increase only affects base tariff rates, not contract rates negotiated with individual shippers, and comes as carriers say higher rates are needed.

LTL and truckload carriers at recent shipping events said higher operating costs, especially for labor and equipment, make higher rates and cost-cutting necessary.

The 6.9 percent rate increase also matches GRIs issued by most publicly owned LTL carriers last summer, though it’s higher than most GRIs in previous years.

Last September, FedEx Freight raised base rates 6.75 percent. Companies including YRC Freight and Con-way Freight hiked tariff pricing 6.9 percent in July and August.

General rate increases don’t cover the majority of LTL freight, but they are a barometer for trucking industry demand.

Since the recession, LTL carriers say they are keeping a larger share of those rate hikes as discounting dwindles.

“We believe most of (FedEx’s) competitors will follow suit with a rate increase in the July-August timeframe,” said David G. Ross, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus.

Stifel Nicolaus expects LTL rates to climb 2 to 4 percent in 2012, as trucking operators retain pricing power during a choppy recovery.

Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter @wbcassidy_joc.

Federal judge orders reinstatement of supermarket cashier in New Mexico

A federal judge has ordered an Albertsons grocery store in Albuquerque, New Mexico to reinstate a longtime cashier who was suspended and then fired after talking with union organizers and recommending unionization to fellow employees.

Judge James A. Parker of the U.S. District Court for New Mexico granted the National Labor Relations Board’s request for a temporary injunction, which also prohibits store managers from threatening employees or putting them under surveillance for union activity.

Before she was fired, the cashier met with organizers from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1564 and distributed union cards to coworkers. The cashier and the union filed charges with the NLRB resident office in Albuquerque. The NLRB investigated and issued complaint alleging numerous unfair labor practices. After a hearing, Administrative Law Judge William Schmidt issued a decision that found the suspension and firing and certain other actions by store managers were unlawful.

The injunction seeks to restore the rights of all employees to engage in union activities while the case continues through the NLRB process

Monday, June 4, 2012

Scope of change at FedEx unclear

The Commercial Appeal ( Memphis , TN )



May 31, 2012 Thursday
Final Edition



Scope of change at FedEx unclear;
Predicted restructuring expected to resemble '04



BYLINE: Wayne Risher risher@commercialappeal.com



Analysts don't know the size or scope of anticipated restructuring at Memphis-based FedEx Corp. but believe it could look more like 2004 than 2009.

Some believe personnel cuts are inevitable, but suggest the company is likely to pursue a voluntary approach that would rely on attrition and buyouts.

Looking toward an earnings report June 19 and an October investor meeting, the analyst world has been abuzz with speculation about what FedEx might do to boost disappointing profits in the Express division.

Some expect the company to announce a plan between now and October, while others say it's a work in progress.

Art Hatfield, analyst with Raymond James in Memphis , said Wednesday that restructuring is "not new news. They've been talking about restructuring their domestic network for awhile, and they've been in the process of doing it. I don't think it's going to be a big bang."

"I don't know how big it's going to be," Hatfield continued. "My suspicion is that nobody is going to be asked to leave involuntarily. My suspicion is it will be done voluntarily."

"We're not saying that's going to happen. I'm just saying that makes sense. You cannot take assets out of service without affecting people."

Scott Stratton, leader of FedEx's Air Line Pilots Association unit, said the union hadn't received an official briefing on the potential restructuring, but was open to talking.

FedEx declined comment.

Helane Becker, analyst with Dahlman Rose & Co., speculated FedEx would offer an early retirement program rather than using layoffs.

In 2003, with the economy still recovering from Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, FedEx dangled voluntary buyouts as part of a push toward 10 percent operating margins.

The offer got more takers than the company anticipated and trimmed about 3,600 from the payroll by June 30, 2005.

In 2009, the company eliminated 3,100 jobs, some of them involuntarily, in an effort to balance expenses against weak demand coming out of the great recession.

One round of those cuts slashed 1,000 jobs companywide, including an estimated 500 in Memphis , where FedEx employs about 30,000.

Becker said in a research note she expects FedEx to follow a strategy similar to what DHL outlined recently: increasing revenues and productivity and reducing costs.

"We believe the focus will be on replacing three-crew, three-engine aircraft with two-crew, two-engine aircraft," Becker wrote. "This will save approximately $500 million annually on maintenance costs, fuel costs and crew costs. Older aircraft comprise about 25 percent of FedEx's fleet, so the bottom line impact of $1 a share is very real."

FedEx Express' fleet modernization program calls for 48 Boeing 727s, four MD 10s and 10 MD 11s to be replaced by newer, more-fuel-efficient aircraft, including Boeing 757s, 767s and 777s over the next five years.

With Express margins languishing - the last three quarters were 4.4 percent, 5.2 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively - Becker and others believe fleet replacement and network rationalization will be accelerated.

"I think it's going to be more aggressive," she said. "They'll probably push it along and make it happen faster."