Unskilled Labor

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Recently, one of our newer members reminded us we are "unskilled labor". Really? That sounds exactly like something MEM scripted to keep us down and fully aware that we are severely overpaid by Mr. Smith already. So, let's examine "unskilled labor".

    Driving a truck down the road tossing-out packages at random addresses is unskilled, as in Ground driver level of competence. But, a competent Express courier who can do full SPH, get all their pickups, and is versed in HAZMAT, International, Genesis or additional FedEx skills isn't exactly roadkill. It does take skill to do this job correctly, and as we have seen, many people cannot do it even remotely right.

    I applied for a county job a few weeks ago that required the following experience:
    Class A CDL
    Cement finishing experience, including building forms and using rebar correctly
    Front-end loader and backhoe experience
    ...and a lot more. Yet this job was considered unskilled labor, and paid accordingly. Excuse me, but since when is the ability to drive a semi, be a certificated equipment operator (operating engineer), and cement worker unskilled?

    Fred & Friends get a lot of mileage out of constantly reminding us that the local McDonald's employee can replace us in a heartbeat. I've heard variations of the "unskilled" theme for years at FedEx, and am convinced it is organizationally derived. Please remember, that back in the 1980's, couriers were "pink" collar workers, who fell somewhere in-between white collar and blue collar jobs because there was a definite skillset involved, decision-making skills were critical, and technology was a big component of the job.

    If anything, those "skills' are still needed, and arguably, to an even greater degree than they were 25 years ago.

    Unskilled? Only if you believe Der Fuhrer. Remember, "Arbeit Macht Frei". If you don't "get" the reference, be assured that it is not a compliment to our Dear Leader.
     
  2. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with all of that. Now, what are you going to do about it?
     
  3. FedExRookie

    FedExRookie Member

    His solution is to WAD, which I have no problem with, it makes sense. You want to slow down raises, increase cost, and pretty much eliminate bonuses... Why not give them the minimum

    Now this is where WAD conflicts with his post. By doing WAD, you are proving anyone can come in and do the minimum and never go above in beyond, further perpetuating and feeding corporate's thoughts that being a driver is unskilled labor. So he can WAD and stand his ground (100% makes sense) or go above and beyond and prove it takes more than unskilled labor to properly run this beast. I think I found the dilemma....
     
  4. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    WAD is a myth in his own head. Memphis can't find it's effect on a single balance sheet.
     
  5. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    He could go above and beyond all he wants but it won't change how FedEx compensates him as a front line employee. I can't speak for MFE, but I don't WAD because I think it will somehow change fedexs attitude towards me. I do it because I want to at least try and balance what I give to the company with what the company is willing to give me.
    If fedex wants to classify me after 30 years as an unskilled worker, there really isn't much I can do about that but to match my efforts to that level.
     
  6. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    Really? I can think of at least a half dozen metrics that specifically addresses "customer service". To work as directed as he suggest will run counter to most company goals for customer service.
     
  7. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    metrics that won't be 4 positions right of a decimal point on a BALANCE SHEET.
     
  8. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    Heard ya the first time... However in every meeting and every glossy handout fedex represents it as a tight relationship between customer service and profits. Sure it very well could (is) be BS, but that isn't how they are portraying the two.
     
  9. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    fight the good fight then.
     
  10. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    Okee dokee!

    I don't know about the "good fight", I'm just going to do as little as I can for fedex and its customers until I can find a way out of here. Just like fedex is doing as little as it can for me.
     
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  11. DontThrowPackages

    DontThrowPackages Well-Known Member

    Any Job which doesn't require a college degree is consider unskilled. Pick up on the Code words here.
     
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  12. Serf

    Serf Active Member

    Good, I struck a nerve. A few points to mention though.
    1) Because some people can't perform courier duties, and some can doesn't automatically classify the job as "skilled"
    2) The job you applied for is skilled labor. It's too bad your being lied to by the employer, and he's calling it something other than it is. A CDL means you are a professional driver, and operating equipment as well as mason work is usually prefaced by an apprenticeship.
    3) In the real world, if you don't posses a degree (s) or graduated from an accredited trade school, the work you perform will always be categorized as "unskilled labor".
    4) Doing a job well makes you a good worker. It doesn't mean your a highly skilled technician.
    5) Also, I am sort of shocked that you would compare a holocaust mantra to this.
    6) Some examples of unskilled labor: delivery driver, general laborer, track worker, security guard, landscaper, cashier, etc. Skilled labor: plumber, electrician, engineer, policeman, designer, even the cable guy!

    I have a class C haz endorsement, can run the deck and perform the team leader duties, work software programs like TRIPS, IMS, and FAMIS. I can always go to D.G. school for no extra money, and ask the courier at at night how to do internationals, MPS, etc. All of it makes me a well versed worker. You could make a quasi argument on having analytic skills, but it took a few days to learn these out dates, antiquated, methods. Nothing any other employer really wants, or is willing to pay top dollar for.
     
  13. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    How would you account for those drivers such as myself who do possess a degree(s)?
     
  14. dezguy

    dezguy Well-Known Member

    Curious about this as I fall into this category as well.

    I really shouldn't care because this whole argument is ridiculous anyways but we have quite a few guys at my sta who have degrees or certificates.
     
  15. FedExRookie

    FedExRookie Member

    Unless you have a degree in the field of driving a vehicle and was hired needing said degree to fill the position, you are still an unskilled laborer.
     
  16. dezguy

    dezguy Well-Known Member

    I would disagree but whatever.
     
  17. FedExRookie

    FedExRookie Member

    For the sake of I have nothing to do until the Superbowl...

    If I'm a waiter at Applebees and I go get an economics bachelors degree, does that make me a skilled laborer?
     
  18. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    No, that makes you underemployed.
     
  19. dezguy

    dezguy Well-Known Member

    Again, I find this whole argument nothing more than a dickwaving contest so we'll just agree to disagree.
     
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  20. FedExRookie

    FedExRookie Member

    So if you're a driver with a degree, you aren't skilled labor, you're underemployed...