Where's The RLA Rage? Backroom Deal?

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, May 11, 2010.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Let me play devil's advocate here. One would think the changes to RLA voting would have outraged FedEx. OK, so where is all the mock "rage"? I'm hearing nothing.This is starting to smell like a compromise deal where Fred keeps his "airline" status in return for the Obama administration loosening-up the RLA voting provisions. This may be what Smith has been angling for all along knowing that he would likely lose the RLA exemption. Perhaps a back-room deal has been cut where he gets to keep the language out of the FAA Bill that keeps him just where he wants to be.

    The lack of threats to "vigorously pursue this in the courts" and the usual Maury-type bluster has me thinking Fred has accepted a partial defeat instead of a total one.

    FedEx still needs to be de-classified out of being a fake airline and into what it really is...a package delivery service, just like UPS. In order to get out of Smith's stranglehold, we need to be able to organize on a terminal by terminal basis.

    When dealing with an absolute weasel like Fred Smith, a partial victory is no victory at all. We need to put him in a position where he has no wiggle room. The change to the RLA, although positive, is insufficient. Smith needs to lose his bogus Express Carrier exemption once and for all.
  2. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    Check out today's update to the fedxmx.com site. The Teamsters are a bit slow, but I think their holding their tongue was more strategic than lack of knowledge.
  3. quadro

    quadro New Member

    Given that this was officially published just this morning and your post was made within just a few hours (at most) of that announcement, is it really that surprising that you hadn't seen a response yet? I realize that if you waited it wouldn't fit your conspiracy theory but in the meantime Delta and FedEx have both said that they will challenge.

    Personally, I really don't have an issue with the change as I believe that instead of a no vote, it will now just be a resounding no. Also I noticed that Mr. Hoffa was quick to chime in "Hoffa added that the rule change brings union elections up to modern standards of democratic election law". Funny, I thought modern standards allowed you to in essence vote out just as easily as vote in.
  4. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    The reasoning is that out of fear for their jobs many won't participate in a union vote. Under the old rules non-participants were counted as "no" votes. So the deck was stacked against unions under the RLA. Could that be why such effort was made, and is continued to be made, to classify FedEx under the RLA? Now a simple majority of participants is all that's needed, assuming it passes muster in the courts.

    This rule change will affect many companies, it wasn't just about FedEx as the pending legislation is. Of course FedEx will be silent while they explore their options. They could make public threats and complaints about impending legislation in hopes of shutting it down. But this RLA rule change essentially does the same thing. Think they want employees to know they can get the ball rolling for a union vote?
  5. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    With Smith involved, anything can happen, but he had to know this was in the works. That said, the reaction (at least, so far) is pretty mild. Is it that far-fetched for the scenario I have described to happen? Smith keeps his exemption and UPS and the Teamsters "win" (sort of) with the revised RLA. I fully expected a challenge, but what I really expected was a firestorm from FedEx, which isn't happening. I'd still like to see the exemption go away and bring Smith down for a severe beating. I want to see every advantage taken away from the man. He's way overdue for payback.
  6. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    The reason there is no "public" outrage from FedEx, is that this isn't something that can be fought with public opinion. The FAA reauthorizaton bill is handled legislatively, not through a legal realm. Legislation can and is influenced by public opinion, thus the bailout website and the stream of apologists which appear here.

    The change in the procedure for certifying a union election is procedural. It is being listed in the Federal Register as a change in executive process. The decision has been in the works for awhile now, they decided to implement a procedural change in process to balance things up with NLRA procedures. Fred can hold his breath in public view all he wants, it isn't going to change an executive branch procedure. This is why any public reaction from FedEx will be muted.

    The impact of this is TREMENDOUS. It takes away the crown jewel of the RLA labor classification - the requirement of 50%+1 yes votes based on TOTAL EMPLOYEES PRESENT. It will change to being 50%+1 yes votes of total ballots cast. The remainder of the RLA distinctions remain in place: requirement to organize nationally as opposed to individual shop location, cooling off periods in disputes and contract negotiations and the ability of the federal government to intervene in protracted disputes. The reason Fred values RLA so much is the 50%+1 yes vote requirement of all employees in craft in a national vote. That makes it impossible to organize - as Delta Airlines has so aptly demonstrated.

    For those that think this is "undemocratic", just look at the requirements to elect a person to public office. We elect representatives to government based off the principle of a majority of vote CAST, NOT a majority of voters ELIGIBLE to vote. We have national elections with less than 50% voter turn out, with the winner receiving - more often than not - barely more than 50% OF THAT 50% that turned out. This means we have elected officials that have received "yes votes" from only 25 to 30% of all eligible voters. Do we think this is undemocratic? Hell no, those that choose not to vote made their decision not to participate. If elections required 50%+1 of eligible voters, NO ONE would ever get elected and we'd have chaos.

    By making this one change, FedEx has practically lost the battle to keep employees from organizing. Look for an increase in propaganda released DIRECTLY TO EMPLOYEES - mainly through an increase in videos we must watch and dog and pony shows given by senior managers and managing directors. I'm predicting that when FedEx and Delta are unsuccessful in reversing this change implemented in RLA procedures, that there will be some miraculous form of pay increases. Fred will dig deep and find some cash to throw at the Couriers, CSAs, RTDs and Mechanics.

    The changes take place in 30 days time and FedEx and Delta (with others) will no doubtly attempt to litigate this in court. In the meantime the Teamsters will have to step up and start organizing activities.

    Pending no reversal of this procedure in the Federal Register, I'm recommending that all Express employees that are interested in unionizing to sign union cards at this stage. I've recommended against it in the past due to the futile nature of signing union cards under the old definitions, but now the rules look like they are about to change. Many Express employees are apathetic and won't bother to participate to vote. Their non-participation will no longer count as a "no vote" in Fred's favor. There is definately enough desire to certify a union among Express employees - even on a national level election - to achieve a 50%+1 yes vote of ballots actually cast.
  7. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Yeah Fred, I'll be thinking of you when I sign that union card.

    If you don't like it, McDonald's is hiring!
  8. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I really can't take you seriously with all the revenge rhetoric. Sorry, I know you are frustrated, but we need to be taken seriously. If we are perceived as wanting a pound of flesh, wanting to make the company bleed, they will resist making ANY concessions to us. I want a healthy company that can afford to pay us better. That most likely will require the defeat of the very administration that is making it possible for us to vote for a union. If they continue as is however, they'll make it very difficult for FedEx to do well enough to pay us even reasonably better. And if FedEx sees us as an antagonistic force they'll resist paying us better even more than they are now. Let's work together to make this a better company.
  9. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    He's right, MrFedex. You do have issues to work through.
  10. quadro

    quadro New Member

    Umm, not really. Consider that the percentage of eligible employees that are unionized under RLA is much higher than the percentage of eligible employees under the NLRA. A big part of the reason for that statistic is that there are many, many more employees covered under NLRA versus RLA. This is because there aren't nearly as many RLA covered companies as there are NLRA so in reality it won't affect many companies. Two of the biggest non-unionized RLA companies are FedEx and Delta. Unions tend to go after large groups of people because, as any business would do, it makes sense to go after the $$$. This change absolutely is about FedEx and Delta.

    If this stands, just like in politics, the minority will decide what is best for the majority. While this for the most part works in politics as you can just as easily vote in a different candidate if the first one doesn't do a good job, it is much harder to get a union out if they don't do a good job. Sure you could possibly vote in a different union but really, how many unions are big enough to represent as large a group as FedEx employees?

    Most people don't vote in a political election because they can't be bothered, aren't informed, don't care, etc, etc. I would imagine that most people don't vote in a union election for much the same reasons. If they were interested in having a union they'd vote. That's just my opinion. I would welcome any factual evidence to prove me wrong.
  11. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    1. UPS is quite healthy and has a contract with its drivers. Having a union doesn't kill a company, it just puts an end to the gravy train for senior management and executives.

    2. What "concessions" has FedEx made to date with its wage employees? FedEx hasn't conceeded a damn thing. Where's that pay progression that was "promised"? Where's that promise for a top-out time that is reasonable? Where is that promise to provide a pension that one can actually plan on contributing to a retirement? FedEx gives and takes as it pleases and the wage employees are left with whatever Fred decides to give us to maintain a workforce that can barely get the job done. Do the pilots tolerate treatment such as this? Why should you? Are you any less of a person than they? Do you deserve less consideration because you drive a truck rather than fly a plane? The difference is that the pilots weren't afraid to organize from the get-go. The wage employees of Express were fooled by Fred and decided to trust him. Look at what that got the wage employees.

    3. The Obama administration (of which I'm no fan of) isn't holding back FedEx more than any other corporation in this country.

    4. News Flash - FedEx sees its wage employees as an antagonistic force which they are actively engaged in resisting paying better wages.

    5. The "working together" time has past. FedEx has done everything in its power to intimidate, undercompensate and humiliate its wage employees.

    Everyone needs to realize that the "let's all get along" course has played out and the wage employees have been shafted the entire time. The relationship IS ANTAGONISTIC. FedEx will still make a profit with a union, with the wage employees receiving competitive wages with UPS. Don't let Fred's tears lead you into thinking that he can't handle a union and paying the wage employees of Express a competitive wage inline with the value added by the work performed.

    The only thing that will make Express make any concessions in a contract negotiation is the real threat of short term financial losses should they not concede to reasonable demands (yes, demands) of the wage employees. Contract negotiations aren't cordial events, they are decidely hostile meetings between parties with divergent goals and interest. It is the real threat of financial losses to FedEx which will motivate FedEx to sign a fair and equitable contract. Right now, there is absolutely nothing fair and equitable about the compensation levels of the wage employees. Playing "nice" with FedEx won't get a damn thing accomplished - playing hard ball will. Fred is a pro at hard ball and now the employees are up at bat. I'm not in the mood to bunt, I'm going to try to smack the hell out of that ball when it crosses the plate.

    I'm finished "working together" with Fred. I'm the one that has gotten worked over. It is time to organize collectively and have all aspects of compensation placed into a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT which Fred cannot wiggle out of.
  12. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    UPS doesn't wiggle out of their contract. They dance all over it.
  13. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is


    And it has come to this point as Smith has had many chances to redeem himself but things just keep getting worse for employees and better for senior manangement.

    Time for Fred to face the real world.
  14. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    You aren't getting it. If we have a bad economy FedEx isn't going to be able to give you everything your heart desires. You are kidding yourself if you think otherwise. But I suspect the revenge motive is clouding judgement here. The Obama admin isn't business friendly, and i don't mean they are standing up for the little guy, etc. The entitlement programs will be the disaster they are in Europe, but you guys will march over that cliff just like lemmings.
  15. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Umm, really. You included Delta. See, not just about FedEx. But your previous post implied that it was. And voters in political elections in the U.S. don't have the same concerns as one would in a union vote. There is fear, maybe unfounded, that voting for a union could make one a target. That's why some won't stick their neck out, and that's an automatic no under the old rules.
  16. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    This sounds like it came from "Memphis Towers." Maybe you're not getting it either. There is no "working with Fred." If you thinks he's business friendly then think again. Fred has used this "bad economy" crutch long enough. Besides no one was asking for everything our heart desires. Just a fair deal.
  17. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    You're right,"there is no working with Fred". I've been accused of "revenge rhetoric" and that's OK by me because Smith deserves what's coming to him. He's been kicking the crap out of us at every opportunity, and now some want to go easy on him because they're afraid that FedEx cannot survive a union? Geez, he just ordered a few billion in airplanes this week, and has a bunch more in the pipeline.

    If he could, he'd kick us again for good measure, so we need to deal with him the same way he deals with us. I'd still like to see his exemption go away, although the RLA changes have been a step in the right direction. And as far as them trying to keep it quiet, everyone already knows and it's the main topic of discussion in the stations right now. Nothing on the website again today, but I expect we'll see something soon protesting the grave injustice done to FedEx and why "we" should fight against it so we can save our poor company, which will "go out of business" if we ever go union. Plenty of Purple Morons will buy into it...guaranteed.
  18. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    In this "bad economy", Fred just spent a wad on new airplanes and has commited to buy 38 777's and 190 used 757's. As I've said before, nobody is expecting UPS wages, only what's "fair". You, of all people, should understand just how badly Smith has been taking-it to us for years. Do you think he's going to use the bad economy to try and scare people out of signing cards. You bet he is, and it sounds like it's working on you already.

    Expect a "nice" campaign by the company telling us how bad unionizing will be, and how "good" we've got it now. Many of the mentally challenged will fall for it. When that doesn't work, expect the "nasty" version, where our jobs will be threatened, or we'll get locked-out, or the National Guard will be called-in to drive trucks so the economy isn't "disrupted". More will get afraid and tremble at the power of the great and powerful Oz.

    Here's some reality. FedEx doesn't have enough people to adequately cover their business right now. Couriers are still quitting, even in the midst of a recession because the job and wages suck. There is no future for anyone who is an hourly under the present wage and benefit plans. This has nothing to do with entitlement programs. I'm sure the Tea Bag set will try to paint any changes to the RLA or the RLA exemption as an attack on the Free Market. Whatever. Guess what the biggest entitlements are anyway? Social Security and Medicare, neither of which the conservatives realize are entitlement programs of which most of these oldsters are the primary beneficiaries. Perhaps they are too stupid to figure it out, so they'll have to wait for Rush and Beck to fill them with the "truth". Sad.
  19. Broke

    Broke Member

    Sounds like Vantexan is a lost cause. The sad thing is there are many like him that will not vote for a union just because democrats seem to be more sympathetic towards labor. The guy complains about the same issues as we do such as wages and our ****ty pension, and yet he still says no to having legal representation. It makes absolutely no sense but I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Another thing to think about is Fedex has used and abused this bad economy to limit raises and freeze pensions and stop the 401k match, but when the economy was good and the company was making record profits all of the money had to go towards new aircraft and bonuses for upper management. My point is that it doesn't matter if the economy is good or bad, we're never going to get our fair share without some type of legal representation.
  20. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    not true, all you have to do is vote.
    If your not smart enough to understand what is going on, and that you need to vote, you deserve whatever happens to you!