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:

Monday, August 27, 2012

True Heroes & A Tale Of Two Children:

Taken from 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 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

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
| 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
Office of Public Affairs

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.!