Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FedEx stockholders approve union-backed proposal

   By Wayne Risher of The Commercial Appeal

Sept. 28, 2015

FedEx stockholders on Monday approved a Teamsters-backed resolution that proposes an easier path for share owners to promote candidates for the board of directors.

It was the only shareholder proposal adopted during the Memphis-based company's annual meeting, and the first such proposal to pass since 2010.

Rejected proposals included calls for a review of company ties to the Washington Redskins' FedExField, compensation clawbacks in case of management wrongdoing, an independent board chairman and increased disclosure of political campaign and lobbying spending.

Shareholders gathered in person and by webcast at the FedEx Express world headquarters in southeast Memphis.

Shareholder proxy access would allow significant share owners to nominate director candidates and have their candidates' names appear on the proxy, the company's notice of official business at the annual meeting. Critics say the current nominating system forces dissident shareholders to mount a campaign against the incumbent board.

The resolution, offered by Marco Consulting Group Trust of Chicago, asks directors to change company bylaws.

FedEx chairman, president and chief executive Frederick W. Smith, after announcing the votes, said the resolution was non-binding, "but we will take it into account as we evaluate our corporate governance structure."

Speaking for the resolution, Louis Malizia, assistant director, capital strategies, for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said, "We believe proxy access is a fundamental right that should be in place at all companies." He said companies including Chesapeake Energy, Hewlett-Packard, Western Union and Verizon had adopted similar bylaws in recent years.

The board opposed the resolution, saying current policies are adequate to hold directors accountable, provide stockholders access to the board and allow stockholders to suggest director nominees to a board committee.

The measure passed with 53.8 percent of voted shares, 122.1 million to 102.7 million.

Shareholders in 2010 approved a resolution seeking a way to call a board meeting, a right that was reserved for the board at that time.  The 2011 annual meeting enacted a provision that holders of 20 percent or more of FedEx common stock could call a special meeting.

About Wayne Risher

Wayne Risher is a business reporter for The Commercial Appeal. He covers FedEx and the logistics industry, as well as Downtown development. He is the producer of Hub City Insider.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pigskin History: Labor Meets the GridironDetails

Pigskin History: Labor Meets the GridironDetails

Football has long been America’s most popular sport, with millions of fans following the action every week. Before becoming the king of the sports world, football had a long history of unfair wages and poor labor conditions. Here are some key facts about what happened on the picket lines before union players dominated on the field:

1956: The National Football League Players Association is founded

Creighton Miller, former college football star and attorney, agrees to help organize a union to bargain for fair wages. The NFLPA is formally granted union status by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 1970 with John Mackey serving as the union’s first president.

1982:  Strike brings NFL games to a halt

With no sign of a contract renewal, the NFLPA is left with no choice but to strike. The 57-day action, launched on September 21, comes to an end with the ratification of a new five-year contract that returns lost salary to the players and includes important upgrades to benefits and health coverage.

1987: Owners fumble, hire replacement players to take the field

NFL owners refuse to negotiate another contract at the end of 1987, instead hiring replacement players to play in place of the striking professionals. One of the darkest years in NFL history, fans ridicule the substitute players of their beloved teams, calling them names like the San Francisco “Phoney-Niners” and Los Angeles “Shams.”

1993: NFLPA reasserts itself, Reggie White signs big contract as free agent

After a four-year hiatus from technically being a union, the NFLPA reasserts itself and the first true year of free agency is established. Reggie White is the crowning achievement of the new bargaining agreement, signing with the Green Bay Packers for $17 million over four years.

2012: NFL refs go on strike, replaced by duds

It’s not just the players who are represented on the field by a union. The boys in stripes that year were replaced with fill-ins that were highly scrutinized for making bad calls, including the infamous Fail Mary on the last play of a Green Bay-Seattle game that helped push negotiations along.

2015: NLRB rejects Northwestern football players’ bid to unionize

The novelty of a college sport petitioning to unionize recently catches the NLRB offguard. As a result, the board declines the bid of Northwestern football players to unionize, stating that it would bring disarray to labor relations across private versus public institutions. However, the NLRB does recognize that college players are employees, leaving room for future union bids.

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Teamsters to FedEx: ‘Stop Paying Executives' Personal Taxes'

Facebook Twitter Pin It Share on Tumblr Post to RedditSEPTEMBER 18, 2015FREIGHTPRESS RELEASES

Leading Proxy Voting Advisor Recommends Support for Proposal to End Tax Gross-Ups; and Shareholder Proposals to Reform Executive Pay, Corporate Governance and Reporting

PRESS CONTACTKara DenizEmail:kdeniz@teamster.orgPhone: (202) 624-6911

(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) – Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the nation’s leading proxy voting advisor, recommends FedEx [NYSE: FDX] shareholders vote for a Teamster-sponsored shareholder proposal aimed at reforming the company’s executive compensation. The proposal urges the company to stop paying the personal taxes on behalf of the senior executive officers.

A review of ISS research indicates that FedEx’s practice of paying executives’ taxes on restricted stock awards is not a common practice among U.S. corporations and that this practice only serves to erode the goals of aligning executive pay with performance.

According to the company’s 2015 proxy statement, FedEx paid four senior executives a total of more than $5.2 million over the past three fiscal years to alleviate their tax burden from restricted stock awards.

“FedEx needs to emerge from the dark ages of executive compensation. While the company continues to pay millions to cover the personal taxes for the top executives on their restricted stock awards, its workers face unaffordable medical benefits and an unsecure retirement,” said Ken Hall, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “It’s time the FedEx Board eliminate this outdated perk, as so many other U.S. companies have done.”

ISS also recommends that FedEx investors vote for shareholder proposals calling for independent leadership of the Board; enhanced transparency in reporting corporate political spending and lobbying; and to adopt a clawback policy for recoupment of incentive and/or stock compensation to senior executives to mitigate executive pay related risk at the company.

“This year FedEx shareholders are sending a clear message to the company, ‘we demand accountability in corporate governance, executive compensation, and reporting,’” Hall said.  

The FedEx shareholder meeting will be held Sept. 28, 2015, at the company’s corporate headquarters in Memphis, Tenn.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thom's blog

The data is in: Unions work very, very well for workers!

  It's official, unions are still very, very good for workers. According to not one, but two new reports, collective bargaining is the best way tool we have to raise wages and increase opportunity for workers.

The first report was released by The Center for American Progress on Wednesday, and it focused on economic mobility and "the ability to improve upon the economic situation of one's birth."

The authors of that study found, "a strong relationship between union membership and inter-generational mobility." In other words, children who grew up in union households were more likely to lead a better life than their parents.

The other analysis, which was released Friday by the AFL-CIO's Center for Strategic Research, draws a clear line between union membership and higher wages.

Separately, and together, these reports show how important it is to protect our collective bargaining rights, and why we should celebrate when workers declare a victory.

According to the AFL-CIO report, in the first half of 2015, workers who bargained for new contracts saw an average wage increase of 4.3%. And, despite the Right's best efforts, even more employees will fight to form unions in the upcoming year.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said, "This report provides clear evidence that joining a union and bargaining with your employer is the most effective way to give workers the power to raise their own wages." He added, "When working people speak with one voice, our economy is stronger, and all workers do better."

The Republican war on unions hasn't stopped people from organizing, but we need to fight hard to make sure our collective bargaining rights don't disappear.


(What do you think? Tell us here.)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

No health care payment increases for the next 3 years for these Teamsters after voting "YES" to be represented by Teamsters Local 377 in Youngstown, Ohio. Workers also won the key elements of a Teamster bargaining agreement: a voice in the workplace, a seniority system, fair wages and representation. This is what you get when you stick together petition for Teamster representation and vote "yes". What would these workers have gotten if they voted no?? A safety cookout.
After voting to be represented by Teamsters Local 377, Youngstown, Ohio, in March, workers at Engineered Wire Products recently ratified their first collective...

This is just one of the many comments being posted on Conway discussion boards.
People you really do need to start opening up your eyes and look at the future of this country, world and our future here at fedex.
What is going on out in the opening and worst what is happening behind closed doors at this Corporation is not good for us Drivers. 
...See More

Monday, September 7, 2015


Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.


Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.


The father of labor day
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

Who do you think is the real Father of Labor Day?