The Struggle Between Capital and Labor.

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by Migrant Worker, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Serf

    Serf Active Member

    This excerpt taken from an economic manuscript is a tad long winded. But for those with an open mind and willing to learn something. I think we all can learn something from it.

    "Having shown that the periodical resistance on the part of the working men against a reduction of wages, and their periodical attempts at getting a rise of wages, are inseparable from the wages system, and dictated by the very fact of labor being assimilated into commodities, and therefore subject to the laws, regulating the general movement of prices; shown that a general rise of wages would result in a fall in the general rate of profit, but not affect the average prices of commodities, or their values, the question now ultimately arises, how far, in this incessant struggle between capital and labor, the latter is likely to prove successful.
    As with all other commodities, so with labor, its market price will, in the long run, adapt itself to its value; that, therefore, despite all the ups and downs, and do what he may, the working man will, on an average, only receive the value of his labor, which resolves into the value of his laboring power.
    As to the limits of the value of labor, its actual settlement always depends upon supply and demand, I mean the demand for labor on the part of capital, and the supply of labor by the working men. In second and third world countries the law of supply and demand favors the working man. The labor market being continuously emptied by the continuous conversion of wages laborers into independent, self-sustaining citizens or salaried employees. The position of a wages laborer is for a very large part of the American people but in a constant probational state, which they are sure to leave within a longer or shorter period of time. With the large scale of production, and other processes diminishing the demand for labor by increasing its productive power,(machinery,computers) is but one of the many methods for increasing the productive powers of labor. The very same development which makes common labor relatively redundant or depreciates."

    Now a guy I know at my station. Is FedEx through and through. One day on a bulk pick up he explained to me his situation. I am para phrasing but in no specific terms he said: "I was no good in High School. And College wasn't in the cards. I bounced around from job to job for a few years. Until 2009, when I got hired at FedEx as a courier. Almost 5 years later I still am within one dollar of what I was hired in at. And I hear guys bitch and moan daily about how bad it is. But I think differently. I met my wife soon after, and we have two kids. We have a house and cars. And even though I am a part timer, I am always near or over 40 hrs a week. Also, the splits and pm shifts allow me to save money on day care. And we use my wife's benefit plan. I haven't really ever been somewhere that offered me this much stability."

    Right, wrong, or in different. I appreciated this guy's stance. And thought it was a good silver lining.
     
  2. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Wait until your friend gets thrown under the bus. Then he might have a different view of stability.
     
  3. Serf

    Serf Active Member

    I am not so sure. I think he is the cookie cutter mold of what FedEx wants. A guy that knows he's getting the best possible compensation he can. Sure it could always be better, but also it could always be worse.
     
  4. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    He must have managers that like him or he's their "go to" boy. Times will change, management will change. But one things for certain, things never go uphill for the workers at Express, only downhill.

    You and your buddy just haven't been there long enough to catch on.
     
  5. prodriver

    prodriver Guest

    C'mon man, that goes back to you saying we are "unskilled" that anybody can do this job in 30 days. All couriers "was no good at high school" none of us have degrees.
     
  6. Mr. 7

    Mr. 7 The monkey on the left.

    I do.
     
  7. dezguy

    dezguy Well-Known Member

    I have a college diploma and a university degree....
     
  8. prodriver

    prodriver Guest

    Thanks for confirming Mr. 7 and dezguy, Migrant Workers profile page says it all!
     
  9. Motown

    Motown New Member

    UPS guy here and I happen to agree with you Migrant that what we do is unskilled labor.You don't need a degree or some special class to drive.You just have to have a great work ethic and common sense.Now I'm not a rah rah Union guy,I think they get in the way of common sense sometimes just to prove a point but what they do do is hold a corporation accountable to its employees.UPS would never pay us the wages and healthcare and scheduled pay raises out of the goodness of their heart.I feel if I help make UPS a multi billion dollar company I should get a wage that fairly compensates me for it.
    The story You tell about a fellow drivers security to me is sham security.What happens when management cuts back his hours.Will he be able to afford the house and cars he has.I've seen it here.A friend of mine part time had a good thing going for a while until management stopped it.Lucky for him his wife had a great job and made good money but unless the driver in your story has a similar situation with his wife making great money somewhere down the line he can find himself in the same situation.I wonder if he would feel secure then.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    • List
  10. Route 66

    Route 66 Flacid Member

  11. Serf

    Serf Active Member

    It's hard for me to convey that when I use the term unskilled I am not trying to be hateful or mean. I am honestly using it as an accurate term of reference of what were categorized as in the economic world. And yes, to some extent unions have and do hold corporations accountable. Some extremes would be that UPS would not compensate you with what you earn of it were not for union, and if FedEx made an honest attempt to compensate an employee in a similar fashion without union, I think they would do well in making employees forget about the idea of unionizing.

    Everyone has a story about how a buddy of their's got hours cut and things got hard, but as the mayor of the coffee pot at my station, all I get is halfway descent stories of how it's working alright for them. Maybe its the station I am at or the region. But it's not that bad.
     
  12. Serf

    Serf Active Member

    The story was to illustrate a point. I was paraphrasing what he told me. To the other extreme. Myself included, I am in group of several drivers with degrees varying from history, to philosophy, to criminal justice. The real world told me I had to get a degree to be skilled or a professional. Perhaps I should have chosen a better major. Or gotten an apprenticeship in a trade like plumbing or electrician and made double.
     
  13. Serf

    Serf Active Member

    I will admit he is a "go to boy." And with things changing like the seasons I am continually amazed at how some people work hard and get rewarded with harder work and some people work hard at avoiding work.
     
  14. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    Perhaps that later group were once the former?
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  15. Route 66

    Route 66 Flacid Member

    What you have just described is the Federal Express of roughly 25 years ago...we had more people jumping ship from Brown to Purple in those days and "praisin' Jesus" for it than you could shake the proverbial stick at.. as bizarre and unimaginable as that may sound today.
     
  16. dezguy

    dezguy Well-Known Member

    90% of the old blood at my station came over from either brown or Purolator. Today, the guys at UPS and Purolator laugh at the thought of moving to FedEx.
     
  17. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I may be wrong but doesn't UPS pay the same across the country? If so their drivers in some regions make out like bandits while it's a solid job in more expensive areas. If they're making out like bandits in poor areas then it wouldn't be surprising that FedEx couriers in those areas are doing ok. But FedEx doesn't pay according to how expensive an area is(although there's definitely correlation), but rather they pay the minimum they can pay and retain workers. Thus if a UPS guy has a solid job in an expensive area, do you think the topped out courier making $8hr less is doing as well? And if it's tight for him how about the mid-range 12 year employee making $13hr less than the UPS driver? People love to say go get another job but considering the workload and stress FedEx puts on it's employees how many do you think would stick around if $15-$18hr jobs in this economy are plentiful? So is FedEx a much better deal than what else is out there? People put up with the stress for the better pay, better to get by on $17.50hr running like a dog than an easier job that only pays $11hr. There's nothing wondrous about what FedEx is doing. They know they can't pay much less without huge turnover. But they're determined to keep pay as low as they can get away with to boost profits. They have people over a barrel, accept lower pay than what the job should pay or take a huge paycut and hit to their lifestyle by leaving FedEx. When you're gathered around the coffee pot ask them if they think a few dollars more an hour would be much fairer for the work they do. And as I've worked in both big cities and rural areas I can assure you the shear amount of daily humping that goes on in big cities deserves much better pay than they're getting.
     
  18. Serf

    Serf Active Member

    Amen.

    Ala Manhattan, NYC.
     
  19. White Line

    White Line Member

    Just to get a better idea of all this because I am new to the forum and man 25 years ago I was still a teenage know nothing sitting in a classroom, but in your guys opinion (the old blood) at what point would you guys say that FedEx started to go down hill, was it after the UPS strike, the FedEx buying spree (RPS, Viking, Caliber ect), the 2008 recession, or before any of those things.
     
  20. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    I always thought it was after Zapmail crashed and burned in 1989. Supposedly Fred's buddies on the board of directors suggested that Smith could recoup his $720 million dollar loss through his employees with stingy raises, extremely long top out times, short staffing of help etc. Fred got a taste for blood and these takeaways have continued to this day.