As others have stated, what is happening now with health care is just the next step in the Master Plan for Express. It isn't a reaction to a downturn in Express shipments...it is just the next logical and completely planned move for Memphis to cut costs and raise profits...and shift emphasis to Ground. Always, of course, at our expense. While I usually disagree with vantexan, he's right in the money as far as his commentary regarding Fred using Express profits to build-up Ground. Anyone who was with Federal Express, knows that "FedEx" is an entirely different company. If any of us knew that this is where Express was headed, there would have been a mass exodus years ago. This is why so many senior hourlies are so bitter, and why newer employees simply don't "get it". Fred Smith made a lot of promises to employees, and all of them have been broken. Basically, in return for superior effort and customer service, Federal Express employees were "assured" of a stable, good-paying job with a decent retirement and benefit package. Early on, we also enjoyed Profit Sharing, low cost benefits, jumpseat, and many opportunities for overtime. Top-out took 2 years. If you wanted to work hard, you could easily make some very good money. Wages were never at UPS levels, but they were close. If we had voted a union in years ago, we would have lost nothing, but with things so good, nobody thought we would ever need to be protected from Mr. Smith. Federal Express was a quality company with a well-deserved reputation for excellence. The argument has been made that Fred intentionally built a top-notch organization so he could use that "brand" as a stepping-stone to bigger things. The "FedEx" brand is a cheap, low-cost fake, and customers are coming around to the realization that "excellence" and FedEx are mutually exclusive terms. Yet enough consumers remain convinced that we are a quality company that they're still willing to use FedEx. Too bad they don't know what really goes on here. Over time, Fred began taking away...because he could and also because he wanted to build an effective rival to UPS Brown. When RPS was purchased, Fred promised that the newly-created FedEx Ground would never compete with the Express flagship. Behind-the-scenes, Ground was being built into what it has become today....a profit powerhouse for FedEx. Sure, it's a scam, but it's making big money, and that's all that matters to Fred. Under the radar, Fred began building Ground infrastructure, again via Express profits, and increasingly, through takeaways from Express hourlies. Does anyone remember that the elimination of Profit-Sharing was "temporary", or that killing the Traditional Pension was because it had to be fully funded under ERISA laws? More profit to the Express division, and more funding for the Ground buildup. Yes, we have all helped finance that which is undercutting our jobs and killing our net income. A "changing shipping environment"? Yes, but not to the degree that Fred says. Most of what we have lost to Ground has been through intentional sales efforts to shift packages to Ground, where profit margins are higher for one reason...cheap labor. Fred killed our benefits to finance massive construction of Ground sort facilities, which is ongoing as Ground continues to grow. FedEx is a horribly mis-managed company, but the high profitability of Ground hides that from investors. As R1a says, upper management needs Ground to save their own hides lest they be exposed for the morons they really are beneath the surface. Without Ground...they are dead. It's probably way too late in the game to do anything but WAD and be as unproductive and uncooperative as possible. There are a relative handful of us who will actually DO something to fight Smith, so he has essentially won. Unless the Ground model is found illegal, he will continue to "win". Only a massive effort to network and organize will stop Mr. Smith. Please be assured that this latest takeaway will not be the end of it. Far from it. You've only seen the tip of the iceberg. I see minimums being cut very soon, along with other unsavory changes that will drop your dwindling pay even further.If you want to improve your "career" at FedEx, you need to take action now. Otherwise, accept the consequences of your inaction and stop complaining. You have only yourselves to blame.