American Airlines and FedEx Express

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    AA is "bankrupt," or so they say. Actually, they have from 4 to 5 billion in cash reserves, but this is a relatively quick and easy way to screw their employees on labor contracts and pensions. Fred basically did the same thing when he killed the Traditional Pension Plan a few years back, using the money problems of the passenger airlines to piggyback FedEx onto the pension-cutting bandwagon because FedEx was also an "airline". No financial peril, just an opportunity to screw us, which Fred naturally took. Would you expect anything less from him?

    So it looks like American is going to get to experience Fred-style pensions and raises, which is to say 401k's instead of real pensions, and little to no raises or outright pay cuts just to keep your job. Civic-minded management that they are, AA is also cutting service to smaller communities, citing fuel and labor costs, but in reality cutting-back to a core line haul system that is more profitable. Never mind that management unwisely invested in a bunch of smaller unprofitable aircraft for these routes. They will blame the employees and extract the money from them, just as Fred has done for years with us. Right now, FedEx is stuck with a large fleet of MD10's into which Fred invested huge money. He needs 757's, 767's and 777's, not 3-engined fuel pigs. The MD10's were rebuilt to last 20 additional years. Guess who will pay for them to be prematurely retired and replaced? We will. Fred will sink even more millions into killing unions so he can gain more money to buy better airplanes. Count on it. If we ever get close to going union, Fred will pull the "bankruptcy" plan out of his ass, just like he used the "economic disruption" BS to bamboozle Congress and the general public when the RLA was in danger of getting snuffed.

    Watch what the pilots do. Not the commuter pilots, but the guys who fly the large jets. I'll bet they give-up little to nothing because they are ALPA. Management won't screw with them because they (the pilots) would just shut the whole line system down. Just like Fred won't mess with our pilots. But he can and will mess with us.

    The lesson here? Without a strong union, your employer will walk all over you. One, because they can, and two, because we have corrupt political and judicial systems that will let employers like American and FedEx crap all over workers because Fred and his AA counterpart are the real power brokers. Fred pretty much does as he pleases, and his money has bought him the privilege.

    Isn't it wonderful?
  2. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    American Airlines is in trouble due to low cost alternatives like Southwest and JetBlue. And no, they can't just up and declare bankruptcy if they have billions in reserve. They have to declare bankruptcy because their debt is much greater than they can pay. I believe they are the last of the old style major airlines who haven't filed yet. But it was inevitable because their business model is no longer viable. That's just the harsh reality in today's market.

    In our own industry it's most likely inevitable that UPS will have to get major concessions from the Teamsters or it will have to declare bankruptcy. Why? Losing market share to FedEx Ground while still paying much higher wages plus benefits. No doubt UPS would love to get rid of the union. Well FedEx is doing the dirty work that'll eventually make that happen.

    I'm not taking sides with them MFE, just pointing out the obvious. It's a harsh new world for the working man. And much of it was brought on by unions pushing for too much, along with corporate greed. And as much as we'd all like excellent pay and benefits it can't happen as long as customers keep seeking out low cost alternatives to their shipping needs. At this point I'd happily take better pay than what I'm getting, which they could give, but don't expect it to be anywhere near what UPS gets.
  3. FedExer267

    FedExer267 Member

    I see where you are coming from Van, but the UPS guys in my area are still alot heavier than we are, they have the trailers they pull out there now as well and park then come back when they have room and fill up the rest of their truck. That never happens at Ground. As much as some people look for a cheaper alternative, there will always be the ones that pay for convenience. The convenience to them is having one driver who brings everything. Not hopping in their car and chasing down the first FedEx truck they see and say you have my package. Umm No I don't thats Express or Home Delivery then you get that blank stare of what do you mean you are FedEx. We can't deny that since the existence of Ground it has definatley had a impact on UPS marketshares, however I see more and more customers going back to UPS and they all say they like having one driver. If FedEx ever did things the way UPS does, then and only then would they make a bigger impact on UPS marketshares for now they are safe from us. I just don't see us having as big as a effect on UPS atleast in my area. The Upser's bend over backwards for their customers but they get paid to do so, Ground not so much.
    I have a lady wanting a 7pm pick up now through the 20th of December, I have told her sorry I punch out at 5pm. When FedEx pays me overtime I will sit out here and wait and not until then, because only then I can get rid of my 2nd job.
  4. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I'll go with the corporate greed over the unions pushing for too much. Actually, the unions have been bending over ever since PATCO in 1981, and they've been losing both members and power. We've never pushed for anything at FedEx, so we've never gotten anything in return...just takeaways. I talked with someone today who had recently left after many years, and this person was very bitter that FedEx had asked for (and received) so much from them for so little in return.

    Pardon me if I don't jump on the "harsh new world" bandwagon, because that's exactly what Fred wants you to believe. His percentage of profit goes up, and yours goes down.
  5. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    van, it is my personal opinion that you will see the wage disparity addressed in our next contract with a lower starting and top out rate for new FT drivers.
  6. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    That's what I'm referring to. It starts small, but if Ground keeps chipping away, and it could take many years, drivers at UPS will have to settle for less than what they're getting now. They may always do better than FedEx but over time if there's less income then something will have to give. One thing I see very little of is advertising for Ground. When the time comes FedEx could make further inroads by advertising. And while many are unaware of the differences, most business customers who have been dealing with Express and Ground are aware of the difference. Again, I'm not taking sides, and I certainly agree FedEx took advantage of many companies ditching traditional pensions to screw us on ours. But the marketplace has changed. We're, the country that is, competing globally with countries that have much lower costs. To make a profit everything is on the table. And the powers that be have screwed things up so badly it could be a generation before things truly improve. Get used to high unemployment. It's normal in Europe and with so many factories closed here people will have to settle for McJobs. Good jobs are few and far between and too many are trying to find them.
  7. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    FedEx couriers aren't competing against the world labor market. Our comparison job is UPS, not some courier in China or India. Fred has to pay a living wage for whatever country he does business in, a simple economic fact. While I agree that the lack of good jobs is an issue, FedEx extracts way more from it's employees than it gives back. We aren't just underpaid. We are severely underpaid for what we do. That's a big difference.
  8. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Fred seems to try and copy everything UPS does except for wages and benefits.
  9. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    But the U.S. is a saturated market. The only real growth Express will see is in international. The other area where the company will make money is taking market share from UPS with Ground. Hey, I admire those UPS drivers. Just about everyone of them I've ever met were good men, plus a few scary women. They earn their money. But in this economy people are looking for low costs. Might not affect Grandma sending gifts, but large businesses shipping in bulk have to consider price. And while there are certainly some oddballs at Ground, there are plenty of good hard working people too. It's not their fault what the company does, and most make an honest effort. They are making inroads into UPS's business.

    Last year I pointed out that serious problems were developing in Europe. Some disputed that, saying that Europe is doing well and we should emulate them. The problem is that some countries borrowed heavily to finance their social programs and pensions. It finally caught up with them as they don't produce enough to cover their debt. How does that affect us? Our banks bought plenty of those bonds. They paid for them with our deposits. There's a good chance alot of wealth could be lost. We aren't out of the woods yet and we could very well see a repeat of 2008. Lack of business will put even more out of work. And reduce our revenue. The world is very interconnected these days and the average guy just has to take it. And civil unrest could get very serious, and I'm not talking about Occupy Wall Street. It may be tough to stomach, but the days of everything going up and up with plenty to throw around are over. The guys in charge will make sure they get theirs', and things will get tougher for the middle class, which will shrink. What's happening at FedEx is just the tip of the iceberg.
  10. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    A few minor flaws in your theory.

    1) UPS is far from losing market share. Ups growth has been flat I will agree but has not lost anything. Proof enough should be twofold. Over $1,000,000,000,000 PROFIT in the last quarter. Second, Wednesday November 30Th will go into the record books as one of the heaviest domestic volume days in the history of UPS. Hardly a sign of a company that is headed for bankruptcy!!

    2)How do you blame a Union for asking for too much. Just because they ask does not mean the company has to give. You anti-union people continue to blame Unions for every financial problem in the world. Fact is the management has to agree to the contracts for them to be voted on. How is that anyones fault but their own. If they can't afford to pay the wages then don't agree to it.
  11. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Well first off I doubt UPS had 1 trillion in profit last quarter. If so how about you guys chipping in and paying off the national debt? Would only take you 4 years!

    Secondly I'm not anti-union. And good to hear UPS is doing well. Tell me again why UPS lobbied Congress to end the special status under the RLA FedEx enjoys? Because it gives FedEx a competitive advantage that will hurt UPS. It won't happen overnight, but as FedEx Ground grows, most of that growth will come from existing UPS business. Those profits will shrink over time. Your exec's know this, and were trying to do whatever it took to make it difficult for FedEx to grow Ground. If everything is going so well why will new drivers be paid less? Your company is trying to protect future profit. Less future revenue means to maintain profits they have to pay less. Good luck with that, pretty bleak over here.
  12. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    Nope your right it was only a billion dollars profit last quarter, too many hours behind the wheel will make the brain go to mush. We are averaging 11.5hrs a day here and it wears ya out. I wish Fed-Ex would take some of the load!!
  13. oldrps

    oldrps Member

    Just because they ask does not mean the company has to give......give me a break. How many unions have gone on strike because management said no. Do you think UPS wants to risk another strike, let alone a threat. That is a major advantage for FedEx. I don't blame the unions for killing companies, but it is a contributing factor. Most of the times, it is bad management.
  14. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Your point about management making these agreements is a very good one. Why not hold them accountable for failures instead of the hourly workers? The average American Airlines worker will get hosed, and the top executives will get big bonuses for successfully creating a crisis that requires the renegotiation of existing contracts. The executives decided to expand into marginal territories and invest in small jets and turboprops that would service these markets and feed the main AA system. I'll bet that a lot of their liabilities are to the aircraft companies that built them. AA is only interested in their core system these days because the profits are to be made flying larger jets with fewer empty seats. Again, that was a management decision that the hourlies are going to have to pay off the hard way.

    When Fred Smith pulled-off the pension scam (killing it) at FedEx, my guess would be that the top execs who suggested doing it and then successfuly jammed it down our throats were also generously rewarded.