Exploitation

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    If you work for FedEx Express, you are being exploited every day. I know that the Purple Detractors will get on here and defend the company with their typical responses, but it wasn't always like this at Express. Some of us chose to make a career here, based on the former values and policies that characerized the company. Every company has a right to make a profit, but they don't have the right to exploit their workforce in the ways that FedEx does.

    The other day, I was talking to a FedEx Freight "driver" on a loading dock, so I asked the inevitable question. I've always received variable answers, but this guy was a manager doing a checkride. His answer? 4 years to top-out. When I told him that it takes us over 20 years, he was incredulous. "Why do you guys put up with that?", he asked. So I explained Fred's RLA advantage, of which he had no knowledge. We were both waiting on the customer, so we kept talking. Then I told him about our issue of being forced to work off the clock during breaks, and our injury policy, which basically guarantees that any injury you incur will be blamed on you, the employee. He explained what I already knew, which was that they were under the NLRA, which meant that FedEx was afraid to screw the drivers around too much, because they might just go union. On injuries, he was somewhat mum, but through code speak he was able to tell me that it isn't too much different over at Freight in that regard.

    By then, the customer was ready, and we both had to go, but ask yourself why we continue to put up with this crap? I don't see any legal or legislative relief coming down the road, so what do we do? You can fight back, and stay within the "rules" of the game. I suggest the following, which I practice every day, and have had great success in utilizing.

    * Do not falsify...ever. Take your full breaks, do not work during break, and put the onus back on them. If you have lates and Code 1's, so be it. As long as you are doing enough SPH and following policy to the letter, they've got nothing. If you want to make SPH, never do indirects, train your customers to sign immediately, or you will "have to come back later", and use good courier tactics. Don't chat, be businesslike, and just keep moving. Use good routing techniques and set your truck up properly.

    * Don't compromise your safety and that of others by speeding. I can't tell you how many times I've been passed doing 65 by someone doing 80 trying to get out on their route and beat the clock. If you get a major ticket, they'll write you a letter, and if you have an accident, you're one step closer to the door. Imagine how you'd feel if you hit a child rushing to make that last residential at 1029. It isn't worth it.

    * On injuries, that's a tough one, because no matter what, they're going to pin it on you. The latest game is to also write you up for an "unsafe act", which is further incentive to not report the injury and to work hurt, which is their end goal. Eventually, this is going to be another major lawsuit, because someone is going to pursue it. I've heard rumors that a case is already in the works, but I cannot confirm it.

    * Visit a lawyer, if only to get their business card. Most will be more than happy to have a quick phone conversation for you because they are always looking for new business. A big company with deep pockets usually will get their interest. Try to talk with a labor lawyer or employment lawyer, and always carry the card. The next time management threatens you or tries to nail you on some bogus charge, don't say a word. Drop the card on the desk, and don't say another word.

    * Don't bother with HR, GFT or Open Door. These are all pathways to Hell, because all 3 policies are ways that FedEx covers themselves legally. The exception is that if you are a minority, female, gay, lesbian,or have some other special circumstance. If you play the race card, gender or sexual preference card, chances are good that they will just drop it. Don't forget religious causes, as well. Once again, use the attorney's card.

    * Corporate Security. Do not talk to these people. You don't have to make a statement. Use the attorney's card and say nothing unless you are the "victim". In that case, you have nothing to lose. Again, these people aren't your friend. They are there to protect FedEx, not you.

    * FedEx Legal. Don't talk to them either, unless you are the "victim". Attorneys are trained to ask misleading questions that will trick you into providing incriminating informaton. They are smart, and FedEx has an army of them. These people are not your friend either. Use your own attorney, and do not speak with them.

    * Lawsuits. If you can bring one, by all means do it. FedEx is rapidly being overcome with suits, most of them justified. This is a company that invites legal action by their conduct, and they need to be stopped. Without a union, there isn't much else left to counter them. Most lawyers will work on a 40% contingency, meaning that if you win, they take their 40% cut, and if you don't, they get nothing. Participate in Class Actions, of which I predict there are many more coming, and not just in CA. Let them know what this company does every day to give people a reason to sue them.

    * Stae and Local Agencies. Report FedEx to OSHA, your local police, DOT, or whatever agency has jurisdiction over the rule or law that FedEx is breaking. FedEx is afraid of them, but local management is usually dumb enough to flaunt the law because they "know" you are too intimidated to fight back. In other words, if you do make a report, try to be as anonymous as possible, because they will retaliate against you. Be specific about the issue, but try to avoid giving a name, and explain that you will probably be terminated or harassed for reporting FedEx. Most agencies will try and protect a "whistleblower".

    So, Purple Ones, please review your response to what I've said carefully. This is all the truth, but you will invariably try to spin-it as another "bad attitude" employee trying to cause trouble. The problem with the truth is, that there's nothing illegal or immoral about speaking it.
     
  2. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Everything above should be required reading by all employees.

    Also some of FedEx's work issues should be of interest to the state department of labor.
     
  3. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    These would be my typical responses.

    Big disagreement. I've seen enough who have had success with the GFT process. Good managers use GFT'able discipline sparingly and only when they have a very strong case. Poor managers misuse discipline. If the manager has you dead to rights, good luck. If not, press on with the process. Managers screw up and give you forms of discipline that maybe you don't deserve. Hence, the GFT process and those who have had success with it.

    Don't use the lawyer's card unless (1) your job is at stake and (2) you're willing to put up the money and have him work on your behalf. If they call your bluff, you're toast.

    In all other instances, the general rule of thumb is that the less you say, the better.
     
  4. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    If your case has any merit at all, an attorney isn't going to bail on you until they've checked back with you. My experience has been that GFT usually only works for the groups I mentioned. However, if the manager has violated policy and you can prove it, there is a chance that GFT might work for you. Here's the deal, and that's the fact that most managers can lie like a rug when they have to, but you'd better have witnesses or facts to backup your end. I've seen too many employees go down for something a manager told them to do (usually a violation of falsification policy), and when push came to shove, the manager's word prevailed. Managers cover for each other, and some are experts at it. There are always exceptions to the rule, but with a company as anti-employee as FedEx, you'd better have an iron-clad case.

    I've seen GFT work for the wrong people for the wrong reasons, but they are invariably members of a protected class. If you're an average white guy, forget it, because FedEx knows they can probably beat you (assuming you don't have an attorney).Big disagreement. I've seen enough who have had success with the GFT process. Good managers use GFT'able discipline sparingly and only when they have a very strong case. Poor managers misuse discipline. If the manager has you dead to rights, good luck. If not, press on with the process. Managers screw up and give you forms of discipline that maybe you don't deserve. Hence, the GFT process and those who have had success with it.

    Few lawyers will drop you until they check back with you to make sure you aren't a prospective client. For around $150, most attorneys will write a letter on your behalf to show that you are "serious". I know quite a few of them, and if they smell money, they aren't going anywhere, especially these days. If your "bluff" is called, pay to have them write a letter to FedEx outlining your complaint. My attorney charges $300 for a letter, and I'm more than happy to pay when and if I need to. He doesn't do class actions, but attorneys know other attorneys who specialize in them, and the payoff for a referral can be quite lucrative.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  5. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I've had a regional V.P. tell me a week was 7 days, not 5, and plenty of employees get their guarantee on more than 5 days. This was in response to my complaint about being forced to work 6 days a week to get 35 to 37 hrs as a FTer. This is one of a number of examples I could tell you about. Maybe things are better now due to lawsuits, but I've experienced having things swept under the rug with no recourse. And I used to believe if you took it above the director's level then you'd get obvious violations of policy corrected. If there's the slightest chance they could get sued they'll B.S. you
    In hopes you'll go away. For some of us who just want a problem corrected it's not worth the frustration to do it again after going through it once.
     
  6. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    My reply to 59Dano got co-mingled, but I essentially agree with the premise that the less said, the better. I still say skip the GFT etc unless you have them cold, because it is set-up to work for the corporation, not the employee. Ever notice that you normally only see your HR Rep when the door combination changes? He/she is there to make sure your stupid manager didn't place FedEx on the legal hook. And it is still an excellent idea to have a "lawyer", even if it's just a business card. Like I said, as soon as there is money involved, your business card can and will quickly materialize into the real deal if necessary. No lawyer is going to take a pass on a case with the potential of a big payoff. If they call your bluff, a lawyer's letter will quickly prove to FedEx that you mean business.
     
  7. WickedTexan

    WickedTexan Member

    One thing to remember about the GFT process: The corporate reviewers will comb over every scan, every exception, every late, every release to try and catch you doing something against policy prior to your hearing. Just be warned.
     
  8. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Exactly.
     
  9. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    I had a discipline issue that was rectified because I took it to a regional VP. It was nothing major, but the guy who inked me either misread or didn't understand the policy that I had supposedly violated. I sent him a copy of my alleged violation, a copy of the policy I'd allegedly violated, and a letter illustrating the differences between then two.
     
  10. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    They're looking for a pattern of behavior related to your violation or reasons to question your integrity. Hence, my advice to never falsify and to always document things that your manager does if they don't pass the smell test. Be prepared. They are.
     
  11. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Mine involved a mgr not only pushing me to work 6 days a week, but not paying my guarantee for 2 weeks when I was under 35. The two weeks shortage was paid to me, was told the weeks I worked 6 days that the 6th day could be counted towards my minimum. About 4 months worth of weeks that I was under 35hrs on 5 days. Mgr also screamed at me from about 6 inches from me, beet red in the face, that I was ungrateful for him rehiring me when I told him I got another part-time job(when I was part-time) to make ends meet. Had hypertension issues. V.P. said he found no evidence of abuse other than my opinion. Glad you've had everything go your way but that doesn't mean everything is peachy keen.
     
  12. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    When it comes down to courier vs manager, upper mgmt will side with the manager. I'll give you that much. But do you agree that its like that in almost every company? It may not be fair, but it is what it is. That is unless there's a witness to the alleged abuse. Problem lies in that your fellow couriers won't stand next to you. But, as in Dano's case, there's actual documentation to support your/his position.
     
  13. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    And there was actual documentation to support my case, but rather than admit a mgr took advantage of me and violated policy, they covered for him. Never did explain why I didn't get guarantee the 2 weeks I was under 35 on 5 days, just paid me the difference. That mgr was told to take the mgr's buyout or get fired, but they never would admit to any wrongdoing to me, which I figure is due to legal concerns.
     
  14. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    Sorry, I was speaking of the screaming part. Maybe they didn't directly admit wrongdoing directly to you, it must be some comfort he/she isn't there anymore.