Brown Bailout and FedEx Mechanic sites inactive for over 7 months

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by Ricochet1a, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    The IBT haven't updated the FedEx mechanics website since late March and FedEx hasn't had their PR agency update the Brown Bailout site since February. Both of these events correspond with the time when FedEx had guaranteed that they'd retain the RLA classification they so dearly wanted and paid for.

    It was in February when the House pulled the language out of the FAA reauthorization which would've pulled FedEx's RLA status, and it hasn't ever been seriously proposed to reinsert it since.

    I think all wage employees still in Express can look back, and see a ramping up of the idiotic demands that they are currently experiencing, to starting in this very time period (March 2011). There is no such thing as coincidence when it comes to issues such as this - everything has a reason for happening, and happening at a specific time.

    I started posting to this site again (after a hiatus between mid 2010 and August 2011, between which I ended my employment at Express), in what was a futile hope that the IBT had finally managed to get their foot into the door of FedEx, through a Ground terminal in Massachusetts.

    As readers to this forum know, FedEx sent in their union busting team, they canned a few white managers and replaced them with black managers (the handlers were overwhelming non-white in this station), then managed to somehow convince the handlers that they'd be better off in not voting to certify union representation.

    Just a few days before the certification election was to be held, the IBT withdrew their petition for a certification election to be held - presumably to save face in what was appearing to be an imminent victory for FedEx.

    In the two months since, there hasn't been a single word come out of either the IBT, or news media - as to the reason for the withdrawal of the petition. If you hadn't followed the event here - most likely you would've never known it happened in the first place. The important players (the IBT and FedEx), knew exactly what happened. FedEx made a small public statement, and then let it go - they didn't want to advertise the fact that there was a location where they had to bust up unionizing activity. The IBT wanted to prevent too much loss of face, so they kept their mouth shut - didn't happen, don't look here, and move along.

    I posted before that other unions won't even consider touching Express when it comes to unionizing. The combination of three things make this a non-starter for unions other than the IBT: Express' RLA status, the dispersed nature of Express employees makes organizing efforts prohibitively expensive and finally, the IBT has "turf" which encompasses the drivers of Express. Unions are VERY reluctant to step into organizing crafts which are by practice and tradition within the sphere of another union. So put simply, for the wage employees of Express, it is the IBT or nothing.

    Many (myself and those I correspond with privately) were hopeful that a non-IBT union would be willing to step up to the plate and take on organizing efforts within Express. This has proven to be impossible to accomplish, if not outright folly on our part to assume that it could be done. There were some discussions with organizations which may have assisted in starting an independent organization (focused SOLELY on organizing Express employees), but in the end it all came down to what it always comes down to - money. The start up expenses for such a theoretical organization would be enormous, far too much for any small group to bear - without a multi-millionaire behind it or more likely an organization that had a political agenda behind it.

    This has been one of the primary roadblocks to organizing Express - the inherent political agenda associated with the IBT. Many simply see a political agenda which is contrary to their own, and dismiss out of hand the possibility of signing a representation card with the IBT for that very reason. It appears that many if not most Express employees let their politics (or their view as to how politics should be conducted) prevent them from acting in their own financial best interest - shocking as it may seem.

    Put simply, if the employees of Express want another option, other than the one Fred Smith is offering - they have only two choices: organize with the IBT or leave Express. I never intended to stay as a wage employee within Express (intended on moving into the salaried force after a time period) - but knew that the only chance Express had to return to a company worth making a career out of (for both wage and salaried positions) was to get a union in to prevent the downward slide for all. In the time I was with Express, the traditional pension plan was gutted, wage progression brought to a halt (and for many salaried positions, had salary cuts), the value of the health benefit steadily eroded, non-business jumpseating opportunities permanently eliminated and work requirements for wage employees made increasingly idiotic.

    The revolving door has spun even faster of late, with the people that Express is able to get in to replace those who have had enough - increasingly incapable of performing the tasks. Express either gets individuals who have been put out of work from white collar jobs - who are physically incapable of performing the lifting required of the job; or people who are physically capable, but whose intellectual, organizational and self-discipline capabilities aren't up to the task. Those that are left in Express are left dealing with workgroups that are increasingly incapable of doing what was matter of course just a couple of years ago. The idiotic measures that Express has resorted to in order to overcome this issue have been seen by all in Express with more than a few years of experience under their belts (and communicated to those who have left Express by those still in).

    If you intend on staying in Express, you have no choice but to organize - and you'll have to so all the legwork yourself. The IBT will give some assistance, but you will have to "make a union" within Express if that is what you really want.

    Go here, print this out, sign it, return it and get your coworkers to do the same. It is the ONLY hope you have of changing how you are compensated, along with getting negotiated work rules established. Your alternative is what Fred Smith has to offer.

    Organizing Assistance Request Form | International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)

    If you want to take up the task of organizing your location, the above link is your first step.

    Since there isn't anything else of value I or those I correspond with can do to advance this effort, there is no longer any purpose to my posting here after this. You, as an employee of Express are going to have to find the guts to finally start doing something constructive, rather than complaining about the conditions you experience. I recommended before and will do so again, if you have the ability to get out of Express, do so ASAP. If you are using Express for health care and tuition assistance while you complete your education; do so till you no longer need Express.

    If you have made up your mind that you have no other viable option other than continued employment with Express, then make a decision and live with it - decide to accept what Fred is offering and place a happy face on it and learn to like what you are doing - or start organizing and try to get what you're worth, instead of accepting what the lowest amount Fred can get away with paying you.

    Leave, organize or bend over

    The US Congress isn't going to give you an easy way out (place Express under NLRA), they have been bought by Fred. You will have to do all the heavy lifting, and do the fight on your own. Given the odds, the smart thing to do is to leave. If you're stuck - fight or start looking for a smiley face to wear, because things are only going to get worse in Express - and they won't ever get better.

    You can attempt to "come back" at my post with some clever dismissal (a few have here) - but in the end, you're the one that will be left dealing with Express - not I. If an excuse will make you feel better, go ahead, and come up with an excuse as to why you won't attempt to organize - you'll still be working Express tomorrow, the next day, next year and for however long Express can get value out of you. In the end, you will have no one but yourself to blame if you choose to stay in Express and choose to do nothing. You will have to create a better reality to work within - the IBT will help, but you will have to do the legwork and accept what they are offering.

    Leave, organize or bend over...

    I wish the best for all those who are working Express and for those who have already left Express.

    Best of luck
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  2. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Amazingly, there are still a lot of "believers" out there, and convincing them that FedEx doesn't have their best interests at heart is difficult. After the latest craziness, there are fewer of them, but still a lot of fence-sitters who are afraid to do anything (overt or covert) to try and create an environment for change. "Under the radar" is still the watchword. IMO, we could still do a lot of damage by just screwing things a smart way.

    I recently talked with an IAM organizer, and he said essentially what you have---that FedEx is the IBT's turf. I think Fred is going to get his way again in regard to the RLA changes, and what we're seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg as far as worker oppression and intimidation go. The upside of this is that Express is rapidly reaching the tipping point at which they begin to lose large accounts due to poor service. I've already heard rumblings that there are some very :censored2: major shippers. This peak is forecast to be a heavy one, and if FedEx "fails", some big names are going to be looking elsewhere.

    The only thing holding them (management) back right now is peak. Once it's over, watch the hatchet start to work it's "magic".
  3. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Fedex Watch also went strangely silent.
  4. FedEx courier

    FedEx courier New Member

    The big question is how many of those petition cards do you need to get a national vote? Also do you
    send to a local ibt office or the national office?
  5. Ghostwriter

    Ghostwriter New Member

    WELL WRITTEN! After 11 years, I tossed my badge in the dirt. Actually, after years of trying to make it a "better place to work", after seeing countless- yet wonderful people come and go- I left myself. I like to think of it as a tactical retreat. I DO want to THANK YOU, personally. I did read some of your past posts and they did stir a fire- for me to make a move. I remember you wrote that we are simply numbers on an employee roster nothing more and etc... I printed out your statement and duct tapped it in my oh, I mean their locker. On my last day, I made it a point to leave that note in the locker- hopefully those words may help someone else make a move= way on down the line... take care- Ricochet1a- your posts have been helpful!