It's four simple words. The Railway Labor Act. This gives Mr. Smith the power to play the games he does with us because the RLA makes Express essentially union-proof. This is why you will never see reasonable top-out times at Express, and never will until we get a union. The RLA dates from 1934, when there was no such thing as an Express Carrier, and was designed by Congress to keep the railroads from shutting down the economy regionally or locally. By the way, even the name Federal Express was railroad-sourced, being the name of a crack Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train that famously crashed into it's end terminal, killing dozens. Smith invested millions to have Federal Express classified as an Express Carrier, hence the Express Carrier Exemption clause in the FAA Reauthorization Act that is renewed each and every year because The Weasel has flown around every politician possible and thrown hundreds of millions of dollars into lobbying and political contributions. The end result is an Express division that can't realistically be unionized, and is of no interest to the IBT or any other union because Fred has the anti-union Kryptonite. Ever wonder why FedEx Freight tops out in 3 or 4 years? That is because Freight is under the NLRA (like UPS) and organization can be terminal to terminal. So, the Los Angeles Freight terminal can be union, and the San Jose terminal non-union. It is far easier to organize under the NLRA for obvious reasons, and that's why the Teamsters have successfully organized quite a few Freight terminals and continue to try for more...while ignoring us. Smith, being a Skank Weasel of the highest order, will do almost anything to keep his RLA classification and Express Carrier Exemption. Why? So he can have things like market levels, 10-step top-outs with indefinite lengths of time to attain "steps" and Nazi-like work rules. No Weingarten Rights, no contracts, and no specific timeframes for anything. If Fred wants to fire you, he will, and if he wants to make Step 8 five years long, he can. It saves him hundreds of millions of dollars a year to be able to jack you around at will, have market levels, and make it difficult to sue FedEx for terrible labor conditions or unjustified terminations. This is also why FedEx can afford such a large and powerful Legal Department. When the Obama Administration tried to change the rules of the RLA to make it easier for employees to organize, Smith went to work and made his purchase of Boeing 777s contingent on such language being eliminated. It was the height of the recession, and Smith had it killed easily. Such is the power of Mr. Smith, and it extends to both political parties, because Fred covers his bases by spreading the money around so that they'll see things his way legislatively. So, all of this talk about fundamental change at Express is basically nonsense. Nothing has really changed, and you are being gamed as hard as ever. Until the RLA goes away, nothing really happens.