Something to Ponder

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by The Mayor, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. The Mayor

    The Mayor Member

    O.k. with all of the speculation that is going on for the "big surprise" in October, it got me thinking. Let's just assume that for a fact that the XS and Economy freight is going to be switched over to FDX Ground. Let's also assume that this will also increase their national average daily volume between 15-20% as some have suggested. It is clear to see that most FDX Ground drivers that I have seen, as well as those that have posted here are: severly overworked , underpaid , lack benefits :biting:, and last but not least, not even acknowledged as "employees" :surprised:. (Except for the instances in some states where lawsuits have been won).

    Now, let's also agree that over the last 3-4 years that Fred effed all of us by spending $70 million on keeping out the RLA language by buying off congress and waiting for others to get voted out and the language changed to suit his needs. This all leads up to my most interesting question...................

    What if FedEx Ground were to go union? They don't fall under the RLA agreement and the new law that was finally passed earlier this year by the labor dept. would go off of a majority of people at each facility. So how are they going to deny a person if they sign a union card at a facility in which they work, but aren't considered an employee? What are they going to say? This person doesn't exist? That will be the next HUGE legal entity/battle to come in the near future in my opinion.

    As far as how long all of this would take, the shifting of services, the time to watch this disaster unfold would be much more complicated and costly. So, as far as I'm concerned, go ahead; change it up I could use a break:peaceful:. I'm just gonna sit back and watch the meltdown happen. Then laugh my MF :censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2: off and the stupidist decision that (MT3) probably came up with. Who knows, maybe he'll get promoted. :sick:
  2. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    Your question regarding Ground would only apply to the actual employees of Ground - mainly the handlers and line haul drivers. There WAS an attempt by the handlers of a terminal in Massachusetts (south of Boston) to attempt to organize (enough of them signed union cards to get the IBT to petition for an election). Outside of BrownCafe and Boston, you wouldn't have heard of that.

    FedEx pulled out its anti-union playbook (canned the terminal management and replaced them with managers who were "minorities" - the organizing unit was overwhelming minority, the terminal management was white), started their anti-union meetings, flooded the unit with new hires to dilute to pool with handlers who weren't a part of the organing effort and started their intimidation campaign. A couple of weeks before the election was to be held, the IBT did a head count of how the voting would go - and came up short of a majority. Rather than proceed with the election - the IBT decided that ITS reputation was more important than the handlers (who stuck their necks out to get an election) - and withdrew the peition for a vote. The going got to be a little rough for the IBT and the IBT went before the election was even held.

    Given labor law, each IC's/ISP's drivers (the "actual" delivery truck drivers) would have to organize against their respective "employers" - the IC or ISP. This can occur right now.

    However, this would also be absolutely pointless on their part. First, the IBT isn't going to step in and bargain for a "unit" of a handful of drivers here, and a handful of drivers there - just won't happen, it would be a waste of the IBT's assets. Second, if a particular IC's/ISP's drivers were to organize, they would merely be locked out if they did attempt to bargain, the mercenary (Ground contractor) would go looking for other warm bodies to fill the seats of their trucks and that would be the end of that. Third, even if the contractors didn't lock out their organized drivers, the contractors have nothing more to give their drivers - IF they want to preserve their profit margin (which we all know will occur). So the potentially organized drivers of a single contractors are back to square one.

    Even if ALL of the drivers that operated out of a particular terminal were to organize against their respective employer contractors (each terminal has multiple contractors operating out of it), it still wouldn't change anything. They (drivers) might be able to shut down operations out of that terminal - but FedEx would then put the contractors (route owners) on notice that they had better get the volume moved - or they would be in violation of their agreement with FedEx. In otherwords, FedEx would be COMPLETELY isolated from any action from the actual people driving the trucks. This is why the IC/ISP model exists, to make organizing of the drivers impossible in reality. The contractors would then be at square one - lock out any of their organized drivers and start hiring replacements.

    Organizing only works when the actual labor works for the "real" employer (not contracted out), and there are enough employees in a potential bargaining unit to make the effort in organizing and negotiating a potential contract worth the time of the "sponsoring" union. The IBT took a stab at the handlers - hoping to get their foot into the door of FedEx and subsequently gain more organizing units before they attempted to bargain for a contact. FedEx shut down that effort before it even got started.

    In "theory", there isn't anything stopping anyone from signing a union representation card. The reality of what happens after an individual signs a card - is all dependent on who the person actually works for, and the labor law in place which covers the work unit. Fred Smith is quite pleased to point out "his" employees can organize anytime they want - and he is right. The reality is, organizing Express on a national basis rather than a station by station basis is nearly impossible for a union to attempt. Now, if the employees themselves were to start a grass roots movement....

    FedEx isn't going to deny anyone, anything. The handlers of Ground terminals can get and sign union cards right now - nothing is stopping them other than their own ignorance, fear and the union busting machine of FedEx (should enough of them actually sign union cards). Nothing is stopping the Couriers of Express from signing union cards RIGHT NOW - nothing at all (despite what some managers may think and may want their Couriers to think). Nothing is stopping the Couriers other than their own ignorance, fear, the union busting machine of FedEx (should enough of them actually sign union cards) AND... the requirements of the RLA which require companies covered by the RLA to have their employees organize on a NATIONAL level rather than a work unit level (station by station).

    Nothing is stopping the drivers of Ground (who are "employed" by their respective IC's/ISP's) from signing cards right now. Nothing at all. They would be organizing against their "employer" - who is NOT FedEx Ground but rather their respective contractors. This is the charade behind the smoke and mirrors of the FedEx Ground business model.

    If the RLA wasn't in place for Express - Express would've been organized awhile ago. Not all stations would've initially certified, but enough would've to get the IBT to have certification elections for those stations, have the union certified and started negotiating with Express. There would've been an attempted lockout by Express, things would've gotten ugly and Fred would've had to make a decision on whether or not to deal with the union or have his money machine effectively shut down. Most believe that he would've had no choice but to cut a deal. Then after that - the stations which didn't choose to organize would've had a change of heart (once the details of a potential contract for the organized stations got out), and they would rapidly certify union representation. In a short amount of time, the Couriers of Express would've been organized.

    The Ramp Agents and RTDs would've followed suit along with the mechanics.

    The decision to change the business model was made WAY ABOVE MT3 - it was made in FedEx Corporation and NOT solely within Express. The decision to pull the trigger depended on a variety of things "lining up", and these were outside the control of Express.
  3. STFXG

    STFXG Well-Known Member

    Ground line haul is contracted.
  4. snackdad

    snackdad Member

    Maybe MT3 can squeeze into a pair of size 40 courier shorts and help out delivering some of this junk.
  5. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    All that brie and caviar has him up to a svelte size 48. He's got some major widebody action going on.Just ask Dano.
  6. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    I was thinking "Freight" when I wrote that - I included them within Ground by mistake.

    The IBT has made a somewhat half-hearted effort at organizing Freight - and so far has failed.