Union / Fedex / UPS - An Analogy

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Livin the Dream?, May 16, 2009.

  1. Livin the Dream?

    Livin the Dream? Disillusioned UPSer

    Here is how I see it - why I am so rabidly opposed to UPS/The Teamsters pushing for unionization of FedEx.

    Put it in the context of a stock car race. The fact that I feel stock car racing is stupid is not part of this, follow me here;

    The leader of the race, UPS, has led the entire race. It is still leading. Every 30 or so laps, the cars come in, the get fuel, service, go back out & race.

    In the last few laps, the #2 car, FedEx, has not been as far behind as it has been in the past. Why it is gaining is unknown, and, in fact, is completely unimportant. What IS important is that the driver of the UPS car notices the oil is getting low, the engine heat is going up, and the tires are starting to get worn. The UPS car, as well as all the others, need a pit stop.

    So there is a crash with other cars on turn three, which means the fans are happy, a yellow comes out, and the UPS car and the FedEx car come in to pit. The FedEx car gets serviced, and the UPS car, to address the overheating engine & the worn tires, decides to repaint the car a different color. The pit crew also gives the driver a handful of nails, tells him to toss them in front of the FedEx driver.

    40-50 more laps go by, the UPS engine is dangerously low on oil, the tires are getting completely worn thru, but UPS is still leading. And the paint job looks terrific. Unfortunately, FedEx is still gaining.

    Next pit stop, FedEx does the correct service, and, in the haze of engine smoke & burning tires, the UPS pit manager does the "right" thing, and decides to replace the pit crew with Hawiian Tropic Bikini models to make things look better. They would not know a stock car engine from a stockyard bull. But damn they look good, and the green flag is out. And FedEx is catching up.........

    Dumb story, I know - point is - FIX OUR PROBLEMS FIRST!!!!!! The Union Hates Management & vice versa, drivers hate the job, managers are not managers but mouth pieces. If we were humming along perfectly, then sure, go after the competition in the Tonya Harding Tradition. Who would feel bad then? Nobody! It is the golden rule - those with the gold make the rules. It is NOT "when you start losing your gold, make sure everyone else loses theirs as well!
  2. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    That was weird. OK but weird.
    Obviously not a NASCAR fan because Hamlin is always ahead of Ragan.

    IMO - Union does not hate UPS Management. That is their livelihood. Sort of like the porters complaining about all the trash they have to pickup. If there was no trash to pick up, the porters would not have a job.
    I always thought FedExer Fred Smith looked like horseface.
    Jesus is my co-pilot so I try to live by the Golden Rule.
    You got something against Socialists?
  3. anonymous6

    anonymous6 Guest

    It's the weekend.

  4. Big Babooba

    Big Babooba Well-Known Member

    Big mistake there. I would have gone with Wicked Weasel bikini models.:wink2:
  5. JimJimmyJames

    JimJimmyJames Big Time Feeder Driver

    What might happen to UPS is what has hastened Detroit's fall: we are pricing ourselves out of the market.

    What do I mean? The big three American automakers can point to a multitude of sources for their present problems, but one of those unfortunately was a labor force that was very handsomely paid.

    In order to pay those wages and benefits, and yet still be competitive in the marketplace, pricewise, money that might have gone into research and development, modern assembly plants, higher quality materials, etc. had to be diverted.

    It can be argued, and I would agree with those who do, that it was not fair for our government to subject our domestic industries to compete with countries importing autos here who do not demand that their domestic industries meet the same safety, environmental, and wage standards that US companies must adhere to.

    Nonetheless, wages pressures have helped to destroy our domestic auto industry. And if anyone expects our government of globalists to stem the tide you can forget it.

    Now, us UPSers will not be able to point to foreign competition for any bruises we may sustain in our fight with FedEx ground.

    Do you know why UPS' buildings, vehicles, and equipment are used to the breaking point, and then used again? Labor costs. Why does UPS run us ragged. Labor costs.

    UPS, now more than ever, has examined every which way to to squeeze more out of dollar. It is because we are facing a competitor that is very formidable. The only thing really holding FedEx back now is the fact that they need multiple divisions, with their own seperate buildings, trucks, and drivers, to do what UPS does with one driver for almost all the services we both offer.

    But I don't even want to think about what will happen if FedEx ever consolidates it services, especially using the contractor model. I fear our costs in comparison will just be too high to be competitive.

    I hate to say this, I mean I really hate to say it, but we might have to rethink how much we ask for in our next contract. We are in the enviable position as the highest paid truck drivers in the world. And if you ask me if we deserve more I say yes!

    But, realistically, even though UPS makes billions of dollars in profit now, if we cannot offer our customers a competitively priced product in the future we are doomed.

    Let me put it another way, would any of you forgo some money to maybe drive a better, cleaner truck, have better work facilities that were modern and safer, and be able to deliver to you customers without having to treat them as the enemy of your time?

    Would you be happy with at least holding on to what we have? Or should we ask for ever more, but possibly losing it all?

    Just some thoughts to ponder.
  6. Sleeve_meet_Heart

    Sleeve_meet_Heart making the unreadable unreadabler

    UPS would not give us better trucks, equipment, upgrades etc if we had give-backs in our contract. It would be the same old B.S. with managers and above making more money hand over fist than before. Just IMHO, no profit is ever good enough for UPS and no bonuses and etc are ever high enough for management. That is why no wage rate and benes will ever be good enough for the Teamsters, too. Look back to '97-'00, when Teamsters went on strike and then a few years later UPS tried to (and thought they could) weasel out of the prime negotiation of that contract- the 20,000 full-time jobs even with record profits.
  7. JimJimmyJames

    JimJimmyJames Big Time Feeder Driver

    Good arguement. Would UPS use the money that they could save, if we did not contract future raises, for purposes of being more competitive?

    Or would they use that money just to cash in on?

    Livin the Dream?, I am sorry but it just might be better to simply have the government decree that the FedEx contractor model is illegal.

    I have two car payments, a motorcycle payment, credit cards, a mortgage, two college educations and possibly a wedding to pay for one day. I need the cash and if UPS wants to take FedEx down through the courts, let 'em! :happy-very:

    BLACKBOX Life is a Highway...

    The stockholders for UPS would love to see the union restructure their contract to deal with the downturn in volume. Its already right in front of our faces that delivering packages can be done for a third of the wages we now enjoy. If this were to happen, our stock prices will go through the roof.

    Years ago the Teamsters had an ace in the hole when the threat of a strike would instill fear in the transportation world because no one had the infrastructure we had. Fast forward to today's world and its no mystery that FDX is ramping up their ground facilities around the country (just peruse FEDEX.com). So striking doesn't quite have the weight it used to.

    Oh yes. I believe UPS is watching what is happening to the UAW and the concessions they are forced to accept to remain competitive.

    Am I just paranoid? or is this feeling warranted.
  9. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    I don't think analogies make for good arguments because they are rarely actually analogous. The reality of the package delivery business/competition and the relationship between union and management bears absolutely no resemblance to a nascar race. It's infinitely more complex and has a huge array of outside factors that impact the outcome. It is what it is, it's not something else.

    I don't think we need to worry about UPS based on what happened to the auto industry because outside of the fact that both industries are unionized, the business models are quite different. The auto companies have a physical product that they manufacture and then sell, and they were heavily leveraged on the manufacturing end based on projected sales. When the bottom dropped out of the market, they were left holding the bag. UPS is not in the same position because we don't manufacture anything. When volume slumps, UPS can almost immediately "shrink to fit" by cutting routes and laying people off. If only one package gets shipped on Monday, UPS will make a profit on it. Yes, that's an exaggeration, but at least it's not an analogy :wink2:.
  10. JustTired

    JustTired free at last.......

    There is a big difference between the big 3 and UPS. Generally speaking and in comparison...UPS workers bust their butts on a daily basis while (and again generally speaking) workers at the big 3 are rather lazy. Before someone jumps on me, I have worked for both and have seen it first hand. I've seen more energy spent (in the auto industry) trying to get out of work than it would have taken just to do it. "Not my Job" was the mantra.

    Is their some of that at UPS? Sure...but nowhere near the extent that it exists in the auto industry.

    I never had a problem giving a "fair days work for a fair days pay". I also loathed every day that I went to work in the factory because what was expected from me for 8 hrs. could be done in about 2 hrs. without even breaking a sweat. Therein lies the problem. It's not how much you get paid......it's how much work you do (or is expected from you) for that pay.

  11. JimJimmyJames

    JimJimmyJames Big Time Feeder Driver

    Based on expected sales of trucks and suvs. Those are the only vehicles Detroit makes a real profit from. Why? Because they cannot domestically make an economy car that can compete with the competition and yet make a reasonable profit.

    The only reason we are able to compete with FedEx is because we are ultra efficient and we do not have multiple company divisions. Detroit could definitely learn a lesson from us.

    But if we continue on our present wage and benefit path, no matter how efficient we are, it might not be good enough. I don't feel give backs will be warranted, just that future demands by us need to be reasonable.

    But then again, I have said it before and I will say it again, UPS is putting into place systems (for example, PAS/EDD) that will enable the company to replace us if we ever strike for a protracted period of time.

    The future of our company as a result of all this will probably be an ever more cozy relationship between the Teamsters and the company just as a matter of survival for both. Unfortunately, us rank and file members may pay the price for this in the form of declining wages and decreased rights.
  12. jimstud

    jimstud Banned

    we need to get fedex in the union fold because that would make our pension fund stronger the more people in the union equals a stronger pension fund and that is the bottom line
  13. Livin the Dream?

    Livin the Dream? Disillusioned UPSer

    Huh wha? Help me understand - A stronger pension fund helps who ? It makes us a better company how?
  14. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    The FedEx car has a pit crew of illegal aliens who are allowed to work here because of a special deal that Fred Smith worked-out with NASCAR. They make half what the UPS pit crew does, so the FedEx transporter is very posh, the car is state of the art, and the driver makes twice as much as the UPS car driver.

    FedEx loses the race because the engineers have done all the calculations for the fuel load, and the car runs out of gas 50 laps from the finish. They are immediately promoted and tasked with making couriers more productive.
  15. Brown287

    Brown287 Im not the Mail Man!

    From what I see most of you are missing the point all togethor. My brother delivers Fed-Ex Ground packages, notice I dont say he works for Fed-Ex. He works for a sub-contractor and he gets paid less than a third that we do, gets NO benifits, NO vacation, and does not get paid by the hour or the piece. He is paid a flat weekly rate regardless of the hours he works, Im not going to argue the merits of our pay, but he should be getting paid a hell of a lot more than he gets now. The reason he is not "fairly" compinsated is that Fed-Ex injoys crooked laws that protect them and harm the worker. Unionization is not the answer but the "threat" of unionization is. The Ground side of Fed-Ex is the only part of Fed-Ex that has any traction left, and ask yourself why. Its because of exploiting the Ground work force. I am amused how your argument is from the aproach that UPS is the CHEAT, but maybe you should examine the facts a little more and you will see the loop holes and special favor laws that Fed-Ex injoys. A free society should not only protect crooked companies but the rights of employees to organize if they so desire. Or is that the kindd of freedon that scares you.
  16. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    plus ups is going to eliminate a pit stop by conserving fuel. How? Simple, no left turns for the ups car
  17. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    This is a very fine statement ... and I agree in principle.
    However, does not the employer have freedoms too?
  18. Livin the Dream?

    Livin the Dream? Disillusioned UPSer

    I'm not sure who you are addressing with this post, but I need to respond.

    Your brother in Law does not work for FedEx in any way. He works for a company that does sub-contractor work for FedEx. Did you brother in law know what he was going to be paid by this sub-contractor before he took the job? He did? Then he cannot complain. Or he can quit & go work somewhere else. See how that works?

    I asked who you were addressing this thread to because you said " I am amused how your argument is from the aproach that UPS is the CHEAT..." and I know I don't feel that way at all. I feel that the UPS/TEAMSTERs approach is stupid. Instead of being the best you can be, hobble the #2 guy. But I digress....

    Loopholes in the law - LOL - Tell me of any company in the world (hell, any informed person in the world) that does not use available options in the law to better their position. You need to look no further than your own personal tax return to see how you, yes YOU, used existing loopholes to your advantage.

    When someone does something legal you don't like, it is a crooked arm twisted exploited loophole. When you do it, it is sound financial planning.

    Nobody ever answers this question, ever - Why are the only people pushing to have FedEx employees unionized UPS employees & the Union?
  19. jimstud

    jimstud Banned

    do you plan on del. pkgs to the day you die? well i don't and i can imagine most everybody on the brown cafe doesn't so now tell me who a stronger pension fund helps?
  20. Sleeve_meet_Heart

    Sleeve_meet_Heart making the unreadable unreadabler

    because the fed-ex ground drivers have families to feed and they can't afford a work stoppage, because they can't save enough money to put away for a strike?