Why What We Do is Skilled Labor

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, May 3, 2014.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    For many years, we have been reminded that we are "unskilled labor" that is easily replaced. In fact, one of my favorite VPs once told me in a meeting that if we were unhappy with wages that "McDonalds was hiring". That pretty much sums up management's attitude toward us... just plug anyone into the seat and watch the productivity happen.

    Not so quick. If anything, DRA has proven that they cannot just plop someone in a vehicle and make it "happen". Is what we do "skilled" in the sense of a technician or similar job? No. But what makes us skilled is the level of productivity that is expected. This is even more true at UPS. It absolutely does take "skill" and a specific skill set to achieve 15.74 SPH or whatever the target goal for performance is for a particular route. DRA was supposed to allow "anyone" to do this, but most new hires and newer employees can only do about half of SPH. So, where does the other half of the SPH come from? S-K-I-L-L.
  2. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

  3. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    This is not rocket science .

    We are unskilled labor.

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  4. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I disagree, because there are very few people who can meet the demands at UPS. Sure, you make an excellent wage, but you are also expected to produce accordingly. Like I said, UPS makes excellent profits in spite of having a unionized workforce. I have worked at UPS (albeit as a Feeder Temp), but they are incredibly efficient and demanding. A career driver at UPS is very skilled.
  5. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Experience is a skill in and of itself, lackey.
  6. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    The two go hand in hand.
  7. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    If that makes you feel better.
  8. realbrown1

    realbrown1 Annoy a liberal today. Hit them with facts.

    No, just what you do requires no skill.
  9. Doc Sorting Dude

    Doc Sorting Dude Active Member

    I think FDX and UPS are one of the few companies left where you don't need a degree in this specific field (picking up and delivering packages). If you can pass the DOT test,speak and read English plus a decent MVR, you're pretty much qualified. The skill is gained by everyday use of capturing information on our respective electronic equipment. You can also put into that category, driving and not getting injured during your regular routine.
  10. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    It does. Does a 25 year Circle of Excellence driver have any skill, or does a courier who can do 17 SPH safely? YES...they do.
  11. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree. The qualifications needed for these jobs aren't that stringent.
  12. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    Maybe, maybe not. How hard is it not to wreck a truck?

    As you've pointed out, speed comes at the expense of quality service, so I don't know if you'd count that as a skill or not. Why did you arbitrarily pick 17 SPH?
  13. White Line

    White Line Member

    All true with one exception speaking English, the way FedEx Grounds linehaul operation is going it's looking like they are going to need to provide me with Rosetta Stone to learn Russian, it's getting harder to understand some of the drivers that I encounter at my meet.
  14. prodriver

    prodriver Guest

    I'm surprised you asked how hard it is not to be in a wreck, the law of averages are against couriers as we spend so many hours in traffic, in tight situations, miles etc. To be an excellent courier it requires both safety and speed(sph).
  15. FedExRookie

    FedExRookie Member

    So by your definition a fruit picker would be skilled labor, since I doubt the average person can just walk in and produce at the level they are expected to produce at.

    Unskilled labor requires skill, that alone does not make it skilled labor. So yes, it does take some 'skill' to be a courier; however, that is not what defines skilled labor.
  16. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    In the Middle Ages there were alchemists who believed they could, through trial and error, turn lead into gold. This is essentially what FedEx is trying to do with DRA. But the alchemists were never successful. If you want golden results, you have to start with gold to begin with. Early on FedEx attracted top notch workers who were willing to exchange hard work and high productivity for pay and benefits that reflected the effort. Take away the good pay and benefits and you get a lot of old timers who feel they are being cheated, and a lot of newhires who leave quickly because their ambition won't settle for less. What's left are people who are happy to have $15hr but aren't motivated to give any more than they are getting. DRA proposes to turn them into golden producers. You get what you pay for FedEx, and all your lies about some far off future with better pay is soon seen through by even the dimmest. No matter what FedEx does, they'll never get motivated $30hr employees out of $15hr employees with no future. $30hr brings a higher standard of worker back to the company and lights a fire under slackers who will lose their job otherwise.
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  17. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Technically, we are semi-skilled, but my point is that the level of productivity demanded pushes us into the realm of the skilled. No, you don't need a degree to do this job well, but you do need a number of "skills", none of which Fred is willing to pay for. I almost never agree with vantexan, but his post above is right on the money.
  18. FedExRookie

    FedExRookie Member

    So you are saying, with the level of productivity demanded of fruit laborers, the position is considered skilled labor?

    That is your criteria to be considered skilled labor not mine.
  19. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    A fruit picker has but one task, which is to pick fruit. No technology, no multiple service levels, no vehicle no additional skills, no multi-tasking, and no customer interaction. Remove fruit from branch and insert in box or place on belt. Not exactly the same level of skills required. Bad analogy, because the courier job is multi-faceted and requires both skill and judgment on a continuous basis.

    MAKAVELI Well-Known Member

    Stooping and picking vegetables in the hot sun for 8+ hours a day is definitely a skill. You should try it sometime.