Serious Hours reduction coming after June 1.

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by starglacier, May 18, 2012.

  1. starglacier

    starglacier Member

    all the senior managers in the river district were out of town last week. Mandatory cuts coming.
    No five days employees will be allowed to work six days. No 4/10 employee allow to work five days
    and max hours 50. If you go over you will get an olcc and the manager will be written up. we have a
    lot of pt couriers in jcats.
     
  2. Coldworld

    Coldworld Well-Known Member

    They wont hire anymore drivers to make up the hours, they will just change the numbers like ups does and expect more in less time because of a tweak in production numbers.
     
  3. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    They are trying to squeeze blood out of rocks again - or in this case out of the wage employees.

    They are pushing no overtime company-wide now and as of June 1st, Memphis is going to start hunting heads (lower management) that doesn't adhere to this policy. They are already threatening part-timers to take additional hours or "serious" consequences will follow for them. PEOPLE already states that part-timers can't be compelled to work outside their regularly scheduled hours - look for a change in PEOPLE to accompany this new policy.

    There has been a mini-scale revolt since shift pay was taken away. Part timers have refused to come in to work additional hours, since they no longer receive the split pay they used to. This has caused a greater reliance on using full-timers - with a subsequent increase in overtime hours being paid (Memphis execs thought that part-timers came in to get the extra pay - they ignored the split shift pay as a reason for part-timers coming in to work a few hours). Without the extra dollar an hour for doing split shifts, many part-timers felt it wasn't worth it to come in for a couple of hours - thus the new push to eliminate overtime - by screwing part-timers in the process.

    Express management are trying to come up with a way to force part-timers to come in to work a few hours (either FO or a partial P1 route in the AM, or to cover a light pick-up route in the PM). Right now, there is NO WAY local management can compel part-timers to come in outside their regular shift - Memphis is looking into the legal consequences of changing PEOPLE to eliminate this "protection" for part-timers and subject them to the same "draft" requirements as full-timers - WITHOUT mandating full-timers to work BEFORE drafting part-timers.

    Currently, part-timers CANNOT be drafted to work a shift until ALL full-timers are working (regardless of overtime liability for Express). The change they are kicking about would amend the draft procedure to state that part-timers cannot be drafted as long as there is a full-time employee that wouldn't be placed into an overtime situation. If all available full-timers would be placed into an overtime situation to cover a particular route, then local management could "bypass" them in drafting procedures then go to part-time employees to draft to cover a particular shift (presumably without paying that part-timer overtime, since they wouldn't get more than 8 hours during a day). Then part-time employees would be left trying to prove that they have a circumstance that would prevent them from covering a drafted shift (direct conflict with school, other employment, childcare issues). It would be the part-time employee's burden to keep an up to date listing of the hours they are in school, working another job or have child care issues with their local station management to advert being drafted for additional hours. Supposedly, simply not wanting to come in for additional work wouldn't be justification for refusing to work additional hours.

    This policy (no overtime scheduled) is already playing havoc with Saturday staffing. Since Express hasn't been hiring to replace full-timers who leave, they are in a position of handing out overtime either on Saturdays (to full time employees) or on Mondays (to the Tuesday-Saturday part-timers). Supposedly this is all to come to a halt after Memorial Day. How they end up covering all Saturday routes without anyone being on 6th day, or cover Monday PM pickup routes without having part-timers in 6th day situations is beyond me - well, they are looking to hire part-timers... This is a situation which they cannot simply "tweak" goal numbers, since with current policy, anyone who works their 6th day (or 5th as a FT 4x10), automatically gets time and a half for everything they do on that 6th day.

    They are looking at hiring in additional part-time employees to cover all of this, and place further restrictions on obtaining replacements for full-timers who leave. The gradual conversion of Express to a part-time force (within DGO) is happening without many realizing it.

    They are also looking at updating the Power-pad software (September time frame is what they have currently planned), to implement a full "delivery manifest" capability. It will look much like the pickup manifest, except all the data from ROADS will be converted into a format where the P-pad can have all VAN-ed pieces placed into a "recommended stop order", with each stop indicating how many pieces are to be delivered. The recommend stop order will be optimized to eliminate left hand turns and known road conditions (again, gave a head-ups on this impending change quite some time ago).

    It is going to look remarkably like the Ground software (told readers of this forum months ago about this, they are now getting ready to pull the trigger on this one). You should have (or will very shortly) be handed a printout of all your regular stops from your manager, then asked to write down data as to regular delivery location, customer requirements (signing in, wait times, etc.) and other "Courier route knowledge". This data will be added to the routing software, enabling any Courier which happens to run a route to pull up a menu (just like the PU manifest menu), and get relevant customer information before they get to the stop. This is all to eliminate the need for experienced Couriers to run routes - any ol' Courier would be able to be handed a p-pad with the delivery manifest loaded and run a route at near optimum efficiency. That is the goal and it is coming.

    The Cheetah program in Office is running well for them. They (FedEx exec mgt) are pleased with the software's routing capability and look to fully implement the capability nationwide in the near future. The drivers for this are paid marginally more than drivers for Ground make, and looking at the pay scale for them, $15/hr looks to be "top out pay" for these Office employees who do this driving. FedEx is already looking at customers who ship Express overnight volume within a metro market area, and looking to contact them and offer pricing for same-day delivery service which is lower than the rates they are receiving for next day delivery via Express. This is coming, it is only a question of how quick FedEx decides to place resources into expanding the capability. The GPS tracking software they use for this is able to track drivers in realtime, and even possesses a capability to "break-in" to a driver while they are driving to reroute them, or to even ask them, "what the 'ell they are doing", if they aren't moving according to schedule. The software utilizes GPS driving instructions, so someone without any knowledge of an area whatsoever can merely follow the GPS prompts and run their route. There is a centralized national "command post" which has the capability to literally track every route in real time and have maps pulled up plotting the progress of any routes which they want to see in real time.
     
  4. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    PTers that have been with the company for a while, might decline to come in early/stay late. But, newhires are typically scared to say no.
    Doubtful they can change policy to mandate someone to work outside their scheduled hours. But, they can change their schedule to, for example, 0630 - 0800 AND 1800 - 2000.....no?
    If they had done what was done when I was hired, this problem wouldn't be an issue. Plain and simple, new hires work Saturdays with a day off during the week.
    Our station has been using DRA for a few weeks now, on Saturday only. While I haven't used it myself, I've been told the routing part, in simple terms, sucks. Some routes double back so much, it's a wonder they finish at all. They used it the day before Mothers Day and the station had something like 70 lates, so I heard.
    This program will also only work if:
    1. The customer actually puts the address in the address line.
    2. The OSS person actually makes the changes that we give him. Even after our loop had a meeting with him, the routing is all screwed up.
     
  5. 55+

    55+ Member

    Our saturday routing got changed months ago without any input from the couriers...It was a mess...the mgr changed the routes back and the engineer never changed it back so its still a mess..Why do they pay these engineers so much when it seems like these changes never work?..and they never consult the couriers..I can see how some of the managers just kind of give up on this issue..just let it roll so to speak..I can see how Fedex seems to do things on the cheap..Well..you get what you pay for..have a nice day
     
  6. HomeDelivery

    HomeDelivery Well-Known Member

    what's DRA (isn't this ROADS?) and OSS mean?

    in this division, we already have that in place since i joined in 2006. We had a full manifest of every parcel in our package car in stop order, a turn-by-turn directions, and a map with connect-the-dots trace of you route area.

    when I was a regular driver servicing the same area daily, and got a crappy "trace" of the route, I would circle or "zone" which areas to deliver first to avoid send-agains to business addresses. I hated doubling-back to the same zip code. That happened to me last week and what normally would have taken 9.5 hours turned into 14 hours when following that goofy trace... that area covered only ~6 zip codes.

    this Sat, I covered a smart driver's area. He had taken the steps to maximize his trace so I can do a high number of stops-per-on-road-hour... i was exactly 8 hours on the road with ~1 hour packing/sorting the vehicle. and i was covering 10 zip codes in his service area.

    it all depends on the person behind the computer making sure those routes are running efficiently, that I agree with your statement.

    But, with Express needing to get AirMail off your vehicles ASAP & Ground having certain B2B dropoff/ pickup deadlines, I don't think this model is going to work in your divisions.
     
  7. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    Express still doesn't have this capability. Pick up manifests are on the powerpad, but all delivery routing is still done by Couriers placing their truck in stop order by looking at the address and making a decision based upon their experience as to what order to deliver their volume. Couriers report a stop count number to their manager prior to departure, they scan every piece they load, but they have no way to pull up a manifest of what they are carrying after they scan everything - and no way for the powerpad to indicate number of pieces to be delivered at a particular stop - or even the address of the "next stop". It is still done the old fashioned way with the Courier looking at their freight as they pull one stop, to know what the next stop address is going to be.

    If the cargo area of the truck gets "tossed" going across a gully, the Courier either has to reorganize their freight (losing time and having their SPH drop), or hope that nothing got tossed so bad that it gets misplaced with other freight.

    Express has been working on this for almost 2 years now, working out the issues in the ROADS system. Part of the problem is due to the rapid rate of packages entering then exiting (being delivered) by the Express system. There literally isn't enough time from the time overnight volume is accepted to the time it is to be loaded onto a truck for delivery to have 100% accurate addresses enabling precision stop ordering to be generated by ROADS software. There is a not inconsiderable amount of time spent every AM in pulling Couriers off the AM sorts and working "address corrections", trying to get correct data into the system. Part of solving this problem has been the requirement for CSAs to manually type in shipping label information into the POS when they accept packages over the counter, bypassing the need for airbills to have the information to be entered later that evening. When Couriers pickup manual airbills on the road, they still don't generate full shipping labels (just routing labels), and this is causing some of the problems with bad addresses going into the system. The other part is the customers inputting incorrect address information while they generate their own shipping labels.


    Express is working as fast as possible to get the capability Ground has taken for granted, implemented within Express. Once Express has fully implemented the capabilities of ROADS, the need for experienced and "adaptable" Couriers will be gone. As packages are scanned into a truck, the software will constantly generate an optimized delivery pattern. Once all packages are scanned, then a final delivery pattern is chosen, and the powerpad will then generate both a delivery manifest along with piece count for each stop. The Courier will have the option to "bypass" certain stops if they feel the need (change in road conditions, traffic accidents, etc.), but the software will literally tell the Courier where to drive, where to enter the customer's site and possibly a regular point of contact to seek out for a signature. The need for a "thinking" Courier will be eliminated.

    What most Couriers don't realize, is that when this capability is fully implemented, the need for experienced Couriers (or Couriers paid over $17/hr) will no longer be needed. This is where Express is going to get all their cost savings by implementing this - not through minor increases in productivity (it will probably actually drop a bit), but through savings in labor costs. Someone can be taken off the street, put through the 2 week training school, given a week or so of familiarization with the job - then be capable of being assigned to any route and have the software do all the "thinking". This capability is already taken for granted within Ground - but for some reason, most Express Couriers have their head in the sand thinking that the way things have been and currently are, is the way it will continue to be. Not so.

    Since they refused to get union representation, they have absolutely no protection for their "careers" (which are really jobs now) - Express hasn't been a career for almost 10 years now, most still don't realize that. Ground has proven that temps can be brought in, given some quick training and cut loose with a truck full of freight and get it off. Most Express Couriers simply don't believe that can happen in Express. With the current method of doing things, it can't. If Express does manage to pull this off by their September goal, it will be possible.

    Once they do port this capability to Express, does anyone think Express will be fearful of Couriers organizing, or worried about paying someone $20-25/hr to get volume delivered? They'll be able to get someone for $14/hr to have nearly the same productivity to replace that $21/hr Courier. Say bye-bye to that 15 year Courier...

    If there was union protection in place, this would be a great job aid to the existing Couriers. With no protection and employment at will - this is going to be the death knell for the Courier making over $17/hr. With all those drivers in Ground who are already familiar with this system, they could be enticed to come over to Express if the need arose, given a pay raise (from their point of view) and drive a truck with an orange FedEx logo instead of green.
     
  8. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    DRA = Dynamic Roads.......basically what you have. As Ricochet said, we currently put the stops in order the way we would like to run the route.
    OSS = The idiot that, as he puts it, 'tweaks' the routes to what he thinks it should be without courier input.
     
  9. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I find with today's Sprinters there's little chance of cargo being tossed. Econolines are a problem but the Sprinter's shelves with lips on them are very good at keeping freight contained. If a pkg manages to fall on the floor it's usually noticeable. Not saying it can't happen, it's just much less likely than with an Econoline.

    I see the blame game going on again here, talking about couriers' unwillingness to sign union cards. Where's the union advocating that we sign cards? Is a courier who has never even been exposed to the idea supposed to wake up one day and decide he'd like to sign one? Want us to sign cards? Get the union reps at our gates. Plenty of upset people will be willing with guidance.

    I've been working next to topped out couriers for over 13.5 years now with no hope of ever catching them. Is the company going to force them out when Dynamic Roads is implemented? Are they going to force me out too since I make more than $17hr? Or are they just going to hire in cheaper employees and wait out the older employees who retire, having, as they've done with us in mid-range, people working next to others who make considerably more? Is the company in a huge rush to push us out the door, probably incurring lawsuits, or is it that over time they'll become more and more profitable with more and more cheaper employees as older ones leave? And ultimately if people are willing to hire on and work for that kind of pay, as they are for Ground, do we have a right to protest? FedEx pays what the market will bear. Don't get me wrong, they are lying, cheating, conniving schemers with what they've done to us. But if the time comes when they are finally upfront with what they offer and people accept that, then it is what it is. But hey FedEx monitors, you cheated us on the pension. Enjoy those mansions in Memphis. It's all you'll ever have.
     
  10. whenIgetthere

    whenIgetthere Well-Known Member

     
  11. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    I blame managers for much of what OSS gets blamed for. In my experience, the OSS works well when managers take an active role in route planning/design, which they should. Most of them also involve the swing drivers because they know the routes and aren't as likely to screw another route. For example, Jim will try to push a lot of stuff off of his route onto Bill's route and so on. There's no excuse for a manager who won't work with OSS.
     
  12. When OSS first came out and routes were being re-structured i was asked for some input being one of the most knowledgable swings in my station

    I flat out refused to give any input. I don't get paid to do things like that. I am a truck driver that delivers packages. I don't get paid to be an engineer and figure things like that out. Engineers want to screw a route up go right ahead. I could care less.

    Managers should get out of there air conditioned offices and go out there and look for themselves.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  13. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    The INITIAL route planning, yes....the managers help structure them. But, OSS 'tweak' the routes and the managers have no clue the changes are made until we (the couriers) tell them
     
  14. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    Who's to blame for the Couriers of Express not organizing.... Yes, blame the big bad unions, who didn't spend millions on a pointless battle against FedEx when the deck is stacked against them. It has been kicked around here in the past, any Express Courier with over a year on the job that doesn't know about the existance of the Teamsters and the fact that UPS is unionized is either mentally deficient or living in the land of Oz.

    When I made my plan to get out, I wasn't approached by admission counselors from a variety of graduate programs, telling me they'd take care of everything, do all the legwork and get me a job after completeing their program. I had to do all the legwork, I had to fly all over the country hunting down a job, I had to bear the expense of getting myself out of the mess of Express. So yes, when it comes down to it, the Couriers of Express are solely to blame for their current, and impeding situation. Personal responsibility applies, even when Fred is doing everything he can to screw the Couriers.

    I don't believe that FedEx would "force out" high paid Couriers once they have their system optimized - but that doesn't mean that Express wouldn't change their policy on handing out Warning Letters to get rid of high paid Couriers. Express manages their personnel system to balance the costs of training new employees, minimize the impact of deficient employees, keeping the probability of unionization low (they paid big time to get the requirements to even have a certification vote changed) and keeping employee satisifaction at a level which creates acceptable service failures due to employee apathy.

    With a fully optimized ROADS system - combined with the victory by Express and other RLA covered companies to increase the requirement to even have a certification election of 50% of craft having signed rep cards - FedEx is in the perfect position to "clean house". What warrants an OLCC now, could very easily be moved up to getting a Warning Letter - all with the unstated goal of getting that one, two, three stikes you're out - against all existing Couriers. You are employment at will with no governing contract - you work solely at the discretion of your employer.

    If Express really wanted to clean house, they could very easily place a variety of policy changes on what deficiency warrants a Warning Letter. Have a P1 more than 5 minutes late, Warning Letter. Have a punctuality percentage less than 96%, Warning Letter. Fail to meet SPH by more than 5% for a week, Warning Letter. They can do whatever they please, since there is no contract governing what the company can do - employment at will. They don't do this now, since they know it would push Couriers to sign those union cards (those Couriers that supposedly don't know about a union) - it is the threat of unionization right now that keeps things from becoming even more absurd.

    When the need for knowledgeable Couriers is eliminated, what makes you think Fred won't move the "goal posts" yet again on the Couriers? He has a proven track record of moving the goal posts whenever he feels comfortable enough that he can get away with it.

    Everyone here has read time and time again from UPS drivers that their DIAD enables drivers with minimal knowledge to get off volume with efficiency close to that of a "regular" route driver. Everyone here has read how Ground can pull in temps to drive trucks, hand them their tracking device and the temp drivers can get off volume with acceptable efficiency. Everyone knows that Express is no longer "special" - it is just another service from FedEx Corporation now. A higher level of service is offered, but with "intelligent" tracking devices, integrated dispatching systems and software that optimizes route traces - what need is there for Couriers that are paid above current entry level wage? Answer is absolutely none.

    With the current job market, every station in the country could get enough applicants to come in, get two weeks of training and another week of OJT - then cut loose with a route and get the volume off - all being paid entry level wages and looking at pay raises that are really just adjustments for inflation (what Express has been doing in reality since 2009). The only thing preventing this right now is that the software is still being optimized - they are planning on having it rolled out for use in September (odds are it probably won't be rolled out nationwide till after peak 2012).

    Yes, you'll still probably have a job come next year. But what you'll have to do to keep it will most likely be different from what you are doing now. With technology utilization and the threat of unionization eliminated, Express can do whatever it pleases - what would make one think for a minute they wouldn't "tighten down the thumb screws" even tighter when they no longer need experienced Couriers to meet service expectation? It is no secret that FedEx Corporation is doing everything it can to cut labor costs - look at the past 5 years and that is obvious.

    Why would FedEx pay someone $20-25/hr to get off volume with route optimization software in place when they can do it with somone they can pay $14-15/hr? Doesn't take an MBA to figure out that one. The only issue for FedEx is how they are going to "dump" those high paid Couriers without getting themselves into a legal bind - that is the $64,000 question. I'm postive that they are already working on that one too.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  15. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    ...and this is exactly why I think you will see a two-tiered wage system, with a lower top-out and longer progession, for new FT drivers, if not in 2013, then certainly in 2019. PAS/EDD have reduced the importance of area knowledge and, as Richocet1a correctly pointed out, a casual driver can be handed the DIAD and run the route in an acceptable manner. It will take time but our labor costs will be brought more in line with those of our competitor.
     
  16. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    The problem with comparing us with UPS is that they bring in temps who can do the work with the technology BUT the regular UPS drivers aren't being replaced. If FedEx tried to push out higher paid couriers using similar technology WHO WOULD IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS CHOOSE TO WORK FOR FEDEX? Sure, some might, but going in they'll know the job won't ever amount to anything. They'll soon experience working in all kinds of weather conditions, dealing with customers, dealing with management, dealing with each other. All the aspects that requires better pay to keep a stable workforce. Unless there's an army of mindless drones out there who are willing to sacrifice their most productive years without anything to show for it then either you or the company is making a huge miscalculation. But if it does go down the way you say then the company's greed will finally get the better of them and it couldn't happen to a more deserving group of people.

    I don't know what part of the country you're in R1A but the union isn't discussed here. Except in that occasionally we have someone leave to go work for a unionized manufacturer and he says that's why as he leaves, needing better pay for his family. That's happened a few times in the last 3 years, those jobs are very few in this economy. I've transferred more than most, and other than remarks about UPS getting paid better because they're unionized I just don't hear much about it. A few mentions by our director and senior several years ago when it was a possibility but anyone starting in the last year here isn't likely to hear much if anything about a union.
     
  17. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    I chalk this one up to what I term "Express snobbery"... Answer to your question, look at Ground. They are getting the job done with acceptable service levels and compensated at half what the typical Express Courier makes. The Ground drivers know the job doesn't amount to anything, they deal with customers, they deal with management and each other...

    Sure the turnover is a hell of a lot higher than Express, but FedEx gets its packages delivered. When one Ground driver gets tired of the job, FedEx (or the ISP, ahem..) manages to find another warm body to plop down into the driver's seat and away the truck goes.


    Official unemployment rate at just over 8% (the "U3 number"), "real" un- and under- employment rate at close to 15% (the "U6 number") and "true" un-, under- and those who have just given up on working rate at close to 18%.... You have the answer to your question.


    You answered your own question. Unions aren't some form of "hidden knowledge", they are "culturally unacceptable" where you are at. Whose fault is that? What does it take to make union jobs more prevalent in the national economy? It takes workers that are willing to put aside their petty differences and supposed political identity and organize for their common good.

    So you have had an average of one Express employee a year leave your station for a unionized job in order to have a career and better ability to provide for their family... Any remote hint as to what the best course of action would be for those still working at Express would be??? OK, two best courses of action... (Leave or organize...)

    Naw... can't organize, that's just plain un-American and outright socialistic...


    Do you honestly expect Express to post UPS wages, top out times and benefit packages on the station bulletin boards for Express employees to gaze upon? (Rhetorical question)...

    If you want better, you have to search out better. The overwhelming majority of Express employees are sheep, they don't bother looking at what is going on around them. This benefits FedEx - not the employees. I've seen employers who DO post wages and benefits that their competitors offer - just to show their employees how good they have it. Express does just the opposite, even to the point of attempting to prohibit employees from discussing their respective pay rates with each other - they do, but Express doesn't like having to explain why one employee is getting paid $24/hr and another doing the exact same thing for 5 years is only getting paid $17/hr.
     
  18. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I'm talking about FedEx employees talking about unionizing, not the company. And I've worked all over the country although I haven't worked in the Rust Belt and my Northeast experience was limited to the wealthiest area of Connecticut. There's just no push for unions across the Sunbelt amongst FedEx workers that I've seen. I've been the most vocal advocate in those places and most coworkers look at me like I'm foolish to speak openly about it. I've pretty much given up since the FAA bill went through without the Express Workers Relief Act attached to it. And since the economy fell through people seem very reluctant to be vocal about much of anything. And while a few here have managed to land a better job, all 3 worked at that plant and were laid off. Went back as soon as they could but there doesn't appear to be much if any opportunity to get on there.

    The economy won't be bad forever, and Express employees still far outnumber Ground employees. If FedEx thinks they can find enough people to sacrifice for them, especially in better times, then have at it. I'm sure there are 10's of thousands of folks willing to exist for the company's benefit, work much harder than the $12hr job down the street, and think they sure are lucky.
     
  19. Couriers at my station signed union cards. I want to say back in maybe 2009. Around that time.

    There was one courier who was in touch with the teamsters and he was given cards and asked to get as many people in my station to sign as possible.

    There were addressed to be returned somewhere in washington dc

    problem is you cannot get a 20 year topped out courier at express to sign. For the most part they will not sign because they do not want to work much harder for a couple extra dollars an hour thinking that if we unionized there would be big changes. Getting rid of pickup routes and having the day drivers get pickups like at UPS. They just didn't want to do it for the most part. happy making 25.00 an hour working a pretty easy job. Its more the lower paid couriers that would sign myself included. Courier in charge of handing out cards got as many signed as possible. Mailed them back in and never heard another word from the teamsters about it.
     
  20. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    That is exactly what I did back in late 2009/early 2010 - and got the same result. The IBT won't act till they have enough cards signed to guarantee an election and they won't say how many cards they have signed leading up to getting enough for an election. They don't want to play their hand, giving FedEx time to ramp up their union busters in response.

    Problem is, the Couriers that are on the proverbial fence don't have anything motivating them to actually sign and send in a card without knowing a running count of signed cards - there is no "momentum" that can be developed. The IBT's desire to "save face" against a possible FedEx victory is dooming any effort to failure before it can even get started. This is why only a grassroots movement among FedEx employees to sign cards regardless of knowledge of progress in getting enough signed is what is required - and why any effort is doomed to failure before it can even show modest results.

    Now you know why the top end received a 5% raise and everyone else a 3% (instead of an across the board 4%). It was a deliberate effort to play the close to topped out against the lower end of progression to destroy solidarity. It is also why Express still has those topped out Couriers - they are Express' "ace in the hole" against a company wide union certification. Getting 50% to sign cards in this environment is next to impossible. Even with the ending of shift pay, Express still has enough cushion to ensure they stay union free. It is only their desire to eliminate virtually all overtime (and the pushback by part-time employees against coming in to cover needed shifts) that is causing Express problems now and why there most likely be changes in policy regarding part-timers being forced to cover shifts outside their regularly scheduled hours.

    However, when the full implementation of the delivery manifesting is accomplished, it is those topped out Couriers that will be in the cross hairs of Fred - they will no longer be of benefit to Express. Once delivery manifesting and delivery trace determination is fully realized - there will be no threat whatsoever to Express from unionization. If for some reason the Couriers do somehow get the 'nads to sign cards - Express will be in a position to replace those who choose to walk out with first temps (then offer them permanent employment) and more or less change the entire structure of the Courier job to that of a predominantly part-time force, with the minimal wage rate necessary to keep warm bodies in the driver seats. The Courier job will be transformed into the same way that Express manages hiring handlers - keep a ready pool of replacements to replace those that quit.

    If one thinks about it - all Express has to do is hire enough part-timers to cover all possible needs, then limit full-timers to no more than 35 hours a week (place all full-timers on minimums). There is no contract that prevents Express from having full-timers only getting minimums, while having "excess" part-timers picking up all the extra hours. How many full-timers would hang around in a situation like this? Many would, but Express would get many that would leave on their own, since they can't possibly live on 35 hours a week (most are used to getting 50 - they are going to be in for a rude shock when they are limited to no more than 40 starting next month).

    Throw in a change in how Warning Letters are handed out, clamp down on replacing full-time routes that are opened up by full-timers quitting or transferring (splitting routes to be filled by part-timers) - Express can gradually, incrementally reduce the number of topped out full timers working and increase the number of part-timers paid entry level wages - all made possible with technology doing all the thinking and just needing a warm body to drive the truck and carry packages.