HR 915

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by The Mayor, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. The Mayor

    The Mayor Member

    I just did a google search about the current legislation that we are all eagerly awaiting information about, and on 3 seperate threads, it said that the Senate version of the bill was PASSED on Tuesday. :happy-very::happy-very::happy-very:

    Does anyone else know if this is true or if it included the language of "express carriers" in it? Or was it just partial to other amendments included in the bill?
     
  2. FedEx courier

    FedEx courier New Member

    The Faa Reauthorization Act has passed committee without the language and is slated next to enter discussion on the senate floor where the language can still be added. If it isn't added and the house and senate bills differ a committee from the house and the senate will have to meet and come up with a comprimised bill. As far as I understand nothing has passed yet.
     
  3. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    When bills move out of committee to the floor, language is rarely added, it is only striken out. The minority party will offer amendment after amendment to attempt to get on the floor what they couldn't in committee. Since the Democrats control the Senate and didn't add the language in committee, they won't offer an amendment to add it to the bill on the floor. You can be positive that the Republicans won't want to revoke FedEx's status either.

    With a 60 vote majority, unless there is a sizeable number of Democrats that weren't on the Senate committee that specifically want FedEx's status changed, they'll just vote to move the bill through unchanged.

    What this means is that FedEx's lobbyist were correct those weeks ago when they reported back to Fred that FedEx's labor status was secure (check my previous posts for a discussion on this). This is why the announcement came out literally days after the lobbyists reported back that the hourly employees weren't going to get a pay raise this year and only a maximum of 2% next year.

    There is always a chance the conference committee can add the language into the final bill. But I wouldn't count on it. Getting FedEx's status changed right now isn't a high priority issue (health care is swamping everything else out). This is why I said months ago this was a long shot, and I was unfortunately correct. Express is now solidly on the road to becoming a part-time employer with non-overnight volume eventually being transferred to Ground for delivery.

    Once the bill makes it out of Congress with FedEx's status intact, you can bet the screws will be turned a few more times on us. We're already getting hit with the schizophrenic "add a stop per hour" along with "give customers extra service" at the same time. The panic I talked about in Memphis a few weeks ago was replaced by laughter about a month ago. They know they've made it through this storm, be prepared, the next year is going to make the last couple look like a mild breeze.
     
  4. Broke

    Broke Member

    One thing to keep in mind is that Jim Oberstar (chairman of the house transportation and infrastructure committee) will not just willingly give up his amendment without a fight. I've been in contact with his office since 2007 and they never expected the express carrier amendment to be in the senate bill in the first place.They've always expected this to be a conference issue.
     
  5. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    If the Congress were split (Democrat House and Republican Senate), then the language would be up for a chance for inclusion in the final bill. Since both houses are firmly in Democrat control, they're not going to battle to include an amendment that one member wanted. Remember, the chair of the Senate committee will be in the conference committee too and I don't think they'll want to go back over that ground again. They want to get this legislation done and out of the way so it doesn't hold them up for the start of FY 2010 on October 1.

    There is always a possibility, but at this point it is beyond a long shot. Fred knew that weeks ago when he was confident the Senate wouldn't change his status. The issue isn't dead yet, but it isn't a bad idea to start looking for a coffin and burial plot for the whole status change amendment either. I knew when I posted those weeks ago it was over, it just had to be finalized. Don't let hopeful thinking get in the way of a realistic assessment of a situation - like I've been counseling about ever since this started.

    The real battle is now in the courts over the status of Ground drivers. They are being denied any benefits as a result of the charade FedEx is playing and this may be the undoing of the whole IC game. Once the IC game is ended, THEN Express employees will have a chance to get some benefits restored (when Ground becomes as expensive as Express on a labor basis, there will be no rationale to move freight over to them). On this I am hopeful. The courts will eventually start to whittle away at FedEx's game to the point where it is no longer practible to engage in.

    By then I and many other current employees will have left, so it is a moot issue for us. For those who stay behind, it will be THE issue. Once Ground drivers become employees, you can bet they will unionize within months and get a contract that gives them equity if not superior compensation to Express employees. Then the Express KoolAid drinkers will finally be slapped out of their stupor and start to agitate for change.

    This is actually all a repeat of 1997 when the Teamsters made a push into Express and lost. Fred threw a few extra bucks at the Couriers and enough decided that Fred was a nice guy after all (look what it got them). This time though, Fred was confident enough that when he got his report back, he didn't throw the Couriers any extra pay, he froze our pay and went back on the "People" part of the FedEx philosophy and will only give a maximum of 2% next year (and he had the brass to announce this PRIOR to the legislation making it through Congress). His lobbyist are well informed and trusted.
     
  6. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I hope you are wrong, but FedEx seems pretty confident these days,confident enough to push for even higher numbers with the same lousy conditions.

    If the exemption stays, you are correct about it being open season on the employees, even more so than it is right now. There will be absolutely nothing holding Fred back.

    Oberstar does not like Smith, but he's in the House, and there isn't a champion in the Senate for HR 915 equivalent to Oberstar. I'm hoping he can convince a few of his Senate buddies that Fred is due for a slap-down.
     
  7. FedEx courier

    FedEx courier New Member

    Not disputing what you are saying but I just don't think it's totally over yet. FedEx is still crying and running their silly campaign, just put a new video up a few days ago,and they are still linking b.s. articles in their news section. I believe they will be cheap until the end no matter what, and Oberstar said he would never give up on this change so lets hope he doesn't!
     
  8. The Mayor

    The Mayor Member

    Well now, back to conference for the changes and the re-vote......Let us pray.
     
  9. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Per the FedEx website, the vote was 93 to zero with 7 abstaining, and of course, they were acting like this is a done deal, which it isn't. If Smith is so confident, then why did he send the letter dated 3-18 pleading for employee support? Added insurance, or is he afraid that his pet project will be changed in conference? I know Oberstar detests Smith. Maybe they want it to be changed in the House so Oberstar can rub Fred's nose in it, which would suit me just fine.
     
  10. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I'm guessing that this bill is too large and important to too many in congress for them to let it get hung up on Oberstar's detestation of Smith. They will take the Senate version because it is the easier, softer way.
     
  11. FedEx courier

    FedEx courier New Member

    It isn't like this is a big issue for anyone but FedEx's upper management. The only ones who have really made a big deal about this are Corker,Alexander and Cohen. Wonder who's pocket they live in? If it hadn't been for the strange "bailout" media blitz that FedEx has created themselves over this issue nobody would really have given it any attention.

    "But a spokesman for U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., the House Transportation Committee chairman and the champion of the language to which FedEx objects, said he did not know of any deal that would remove it from future consideration.
    "Mr. Oberstar is not going to give up on this easily," said his spokesman, Jim Berard. "We'll just have to see when it goes to conference.""
     
  12. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    "Mr. Oberstar is not going to give up on this easily." Not exactly a sentence that inspire confidence. He knows like Smith that the issue is decided and Smith won.
     
  13. FedEx courier

    FedEx courier New Member

    How do you know that it is decided? Do you have anything to back up that it is decided? FedEx is still spinning the propaganda machine over at Brownbailout.com. Seems if it was totally decided then none of that would be necessary. Seems like Oberstar is sticking to his guns to me. This is from an article dated today.

    "In comments made on the House floor yesterday, House T&I Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) said that H.R. 1586 amends the Railway Labor Act (RLA) to clarify that employees of an "express carrier" shall be covered by the RLA only if they are employed in a position that is eligible for certification under FAA's rules, such as mechanics or pilots, and they are actually performing that type of work for the express carrier. All other express carrier employees, such as truck drivers and baggage handlers, would be governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), said Oberstar.
    "This change would remove the disparity in current law that Federal Express drivers are governed under the RLA, which requires organization for collective bargaining on a nationwide basis, while drivers for the United Parcel Service (UPS) and other express carriers are governed by the NLRA, which permits organization on a local basis," said Oberstar. He added that this provision was debated in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and agreed to by a recorded vote of 51 to 18.
     
  14. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    My only information is history. Historically these amendments make for good campaign stump speeches and little else. It is a small part of the bill that if it stood a chance in the first place would have been in the Senate version that passed. The fact that it was not suggests that there was enough opposition to keep it from being inserted later.
     
  15. FedEx courier

    FedEx courier New Member

    So to clarify you don't have any insight into the issue other than your own opinion. The particular part of the bill originated in the house and not the senate. Don't really know why the you think the senate bill overpowers the other bill. These two branches of the government are supposed to carry equal weight. The two different versions have to be agreed upon. I haven't read about any widespread resentment toward this portion within the senate besides the two senators in Tennessee.
     
  16. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I think Oberstar would like to have Fred's head displayed in his trophy case at home. These two do not like each other very much.
     
  17. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I'll kill two birds with one stone here. First, what The Mayor said in the meeting isn't going to get him fired. It will probably get him watched more closely, but even FedEx management is starting to get the Big Picture (pun intended) that the natives are restless. In the past, they've allowed "bitch sessions" or "venting" because it suits their purposes. Individuals get to express their concerns in a limited venue, and management considers the problem "solved". Even if Smith wins his special RLA deal, there are lots of ticked-off employees these days. There aren't that many consumers of the Kool-Aid anymore. Even the perpetually stupid ones are starting to wise-up.

    Second, I do my fighting behind the scenes by contacting politicians via phone, email, and letter. Because the flaccid and weak Teamsters won't get behind us until they smell cash (an RLA defeat for Smith), we're at Fred's mercy if we fight back in conventional ways. The Mayor is smart enough to know his limits, as are most of us. If he were to start posting Teamster literature in the breakroom or stand around outside the parking lot after work handing-out brochures, he'd be in deep poop in short order. He knows it, I know it, but you don't know it because you don't understand the way FedEx Express works when it comes to union-busting. They are very good at it.
     
  18. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    No. I really do understand. Any attempt to unionize whether under the RLA or the NLRA will have Express employees fired illegally. There are going to be casualties. There is no clean path to where you want to be. So the question is are you willing to put it all on the line, or do you want others to put it on the line for you? Or do you hope to hide in numbers and hope others fall as cannon fodder and you somehow make it through to the other side?
     
  19. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    No, you don't understand. What you do understand very well is that if we do go union that Mr Smith will do everything possible to shift Express pkgs over to his slave laborers in the Ground division, which would be A-OK for you. I'm not trying to hide, but why be stupid and get fired now? If I'm going to get canned, I want to be able to make a legal issue out of it and cost Fred a few dollars. In the current environment, you can be fired for anything at any time, unless you happen to be in a semi-protected class. Even then, if they really want you gone, a way will be found. A lot of us are waiting for the RLA to make our next move. Any move against the company now is probably a useless kamikaze mission. There might be honor in it, but no useful gain toward the desired end result.
     
  20. FedEx courier

    FedEx courier New Member

    More people will be willing to step up when they know that they actually have a shot at it. We aren't as stupid as you think we are bbsam and your continuous attempt at scare tactics continue to amuse. The path will be cleaner if the rules are changed. If the rule is changed there will be numbers and people won't have to feel like they're standing alone anymore.