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.


Charlie Ray *#%*#* said...

Here is an example here in Fontana, Farrin Harris has a nephew , he runs over chaulk wheels at the Fontana service center and gets rewarded to top of scale within less than a year.
But if another employee does this, is a write up and suspension and the possibility of termination.
Then Farrin nephew pulls a trailer out of the dock with the rolled up doors open, the possibility of freight falling and doesn't even get reprimanded, but gets rewarded to be a driver.
But there's more, Farrin nephew drops a trailer in the yard and the trailer lands on its nose, tip over.
But blood is thicker than water, because it's Farrin's nephew in less than a year he becomes a Fontana driver for all the mis-happening.
This is why a union is needed, to prevent favoritism, to prevent cover ups of failures of snapshot compliances.
Farrin violates snapshot compliances, Chris also violates the compliances by allowing Farrin to cover for relatives and last Edwin Smith the Service Center Manager doesn't even put his foot down.

anonymous dock worker said...

This is true brothers, this guy started about a year ago as a part time dock worker, and sooner and later he is promoted.
He gets top of scale quick, he starts to hostle right alway and right then and then he becomes a driver.
Here I am myself almost eight years and not at top of scale, try to become a driver, but its all up to the red shirts to vouch for you, in other words favoritism!

Anonymous said...

*we see that everywhere! at our terminal in SLG we see that all the time!
*road dispatcher at night Peter giving good runs to certain drivers for just bringing his fat butt some tacos.
* they promoted this part timer that is just the biggest kiss a** to be a driver. now that he is driver he doesn't want to go drive, so they just leave him in the computer all the day.
* all supervisors at SLG are just a bunch of jerks, can't wait till they hear the news that big bad fedex freight is going to bow down to the teamsters and give their workers what they have always deserved!



this goes to all of our supervisors....nick rocha, Gerbie, marcos, and beto rosales

Anonymous said...

once again i see the preference again! well all the time! certain people getting privileges! im tired of this! each supervisor in has their preferred workers! doing also bad stuff and not getting in trouble! been here for long time and see no future! tired of it! i see dockworkers that have worked for so little get promoted! give preference to seniority!

slick_teamster! SLG truck driver