Where to go?

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by Hate 150lb Packages, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Hypothetically speaking, where would a lowly Ground driver go to anonymously reveal information? Lets say, hypothetically, there is a contractor who owns a fair number of PSAs. Every route has its share of corner cutting, but hypothetically, this one is extreme. Most of the routes are rural, with a 1 hour+ commute time to the terminal. He may ask all drivers to login after the sort, to avoid violating DOT times. Hours worked are 60-80 per week, with violations that would hit at least twice per week. One route services a very large industrial complex with a lot of safety (re: OSHA) guidelines and classes you have to take to enter the complex (thousands of acres). The staffing is minimal.

    One driver servicing this route is new, and constantly falls behind so other drivers have to cover. The contractor has other drivers share one contractor security badge that you swipe at the gate, and it lets you in. This badge can only be obtained after an 8 hour training, which is all but impossible to attend due to short staffing. In addition to short staffing, the vehicles are in terrible condition. They all need daily oil, power steering fluid, etc. They are unfit to drive and unsafe. One driver had breaks go out and luckily was able to come a stop. It is not uncommon to unload the sort and then wait 2-3 hours for uhaul to open. The most concerning thing is falsifying DOT times. One driver continually works 15 hours+ each day factoring in commute times, hypothetically of course. Each driver takes turns bringing the pickups to the terminal for the outbound trailer (another hour up and an hour back).
    One driver refused to do this because he felt exhausted after 13 hours already and did not want to violate DOT times. He was fired for "not being a team player". Under the contractor model, no one knows the way to grieve this, if you even can. Many legal issues are being skirted, if not outright broken. One route is 2.5 hours from the terminal, and the driver usually finishes up at 2000. The outbound trailer leaves at 2030, 2.5 hours away. This driver is often "encouraged" to scan packages and deliver them to the wrong place, or even take them home and deliver them the next day, due to not being able to get back in time, and also to not hurt service.

    How would a driver on this route bring this to a FedEx employee's (manager of something) attention anonymously, without jeopardizing their job? Would pressure and scrutiny be placed on the contractor, or would the drivers all be terminated? Every driver is guilty of falsifying DOT times, due to distance, volume, short staffing, vehicle breakdowns, and training new drivers. Several of the drivers have posed as someone else to gain access to a secure, federally regulated facility. Most only falsify DOT times. If attention is brought to this, the fear is that the drivers will be punished and lose their jobs. The other, more ominous thing, is knowing peak is on the horizon and the working conditions will only worsen. What is to be done, and what implications are there for both drivers and contractor? Where and how does one bring attention to this? The best resolution would be pressure placed on the contractor, resulting in him being "strongly encouraged" to buy new vehicles, hire additional drivers, etc. to improve conditions. I know that "encouragement" exists in this company, but I fear these conditions are too severe and would result in a collapse of the routes, termination of all drivers, etc. Thoughts? This is all hypothetical of course.
  2. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    If I were driving for such a contractor, I would quietly begin inquiring with other contractors and when the oportunity came, begin working for another contractor. If enough drivers see this and follow suit, the contractor will either fail his contractual obligation or he will shape up.
  3. There is a monopoly on the terminal, all PSA's but one belong to this hypothetical contractor. The next closest terminal is 2 - 4 hours away in any direction, so job hunting is slim.
  4. I'd talk to someone at the secure facility about the contractor telling the drivers to share the id for entry. We've gotten pass cards yanked for similar shenanigans at certain places.

    As far as the dot stuff, maybe email your state commercial vehicle department or find an officer and ask them about how to blow the whistle on this hypothetical contractor.

    MAKAVELI Well-Known Member

    If I were you I would first seek advice from a good attorney who knows employment law. There are quite a few government agencies that should be notified of these activities. But definitely talk to an attorney first. There are whistleblower laws to protect you.
  6. Mr. 7

    Mr. 7 The monkey on the left.

    Where to go?
    Come on over to Express. You'll get the same take-home money, all the bennes and, only deliver envelopes.
  7. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Hypothetically, FedEx knows this happens all the time, so they don't have to respond since everyone is a hypothetical employee anyway, which illustrates the reality that all of this is a huge scam.
  8. TheJackal

    TheJackal Active Member

  9. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    Never mind that he is skirting DOT regulations specifically put in place to keep the public safe. This is an important businessman, a pillar of the community, a job creator. We certainly don't want to get him in trouble with the mean old authorities. That hours on road stuff is just gubmint interference in someone trying to make a living! So what if there are a few families killed by exhausted overworked drivers behind the wheel of dangerous poorly maintained trucks. It's for the good of America!
  10. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Go to the authorities. That's fine. I'm just not sure how much proof of violation is needed before they will come in. I am a bit skeptical at th OPs assertion that this contractor holds a monopoly in the building and it is for exactly this reason. If the DOT is given sufficient cause and not just hearsay to investigate and what the OP says is true, the contractor and a good portion of the station staff will be gone in a morning. If the driver is wrong and the authorities find no such violation or reason to investigate, where does that leave the OP? Working for a contractor who's gunning for him? I find it odd that some people think all it takes is an anonymous call to OSHA or the DOT to get full scale investigations of multi-billion dollar companies. If it were that simple the agencies would be log jammed for years in this country. Maybe that's why Republicans love sequestration.
  11. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    In my many conversations with Ground drivers, and through this forum, doesn't all of this sound rather familiar? As in it happens all the time? How does someone who isn't even an employee say or do anything about this kind of abuse without getting fired or otherwise punished...for doing the right thing by reporting it. Sure, you can call the DOT Hotline or "report" the contractor to FedEx...and nothing will probably happen to correct the situation.

    FedEx doesn't care, because as long as the contractor is fulfilling service requirements and Fred is making his money, it's all good. In a business model like Ground, the unethical contractor has an incentive to cut as many corners as possible in order to put more money in his own pocket. He fully knows that his non-employees had better keep their mouths shut and makes it clear that spilling the beans will result in loss of their job.

    On one level, this is theft. The contractor is requiring free labor. On the vehicle maintenance issue, it's also illegal, because both employees and the general public are being exposed to the danger inherent in poorly maintained vehicles. I see Ground "rolling wrecks" all the time, with marginal tires, dinged-up bodies and all of the usual signs of neglect. However, you can't see bad brakes, cracked frames, and other internal issues from the outside...only an inspection can reveal these types of issues, and local Ground vehicles don't get them. So the contractor gets away with it. And if you report him, you get fired.

    An easy way to prevent the maintenance issue would be to require Ground contractors to have an independent vehicle inspection performed by a qualified shop at specified intervals. In other words, the contractor would have to prove to FedEx on a regular basis that vehicles were safe. But that won't happen. For one, it would cost money. And second, it could put FedEx on the hook legally.

    IMO, Ground will eventually come under Federal investigation for it's business practices. This will be when the employee/non-employee issue gets fully aired, and also reveal the way Ground really runs, which is under the radar for the time being. The FMCSA scores of Ground might help motivate this, as they continue to be poor, especially on the OTR side of operations.

    I would hate to have to see Fred explain all of this away.
  12. STFXG

    STFXG Well-Known Member

    My ideas:

    1) Stop adding fluids to the vehicles. Let them blow up and when the engine seizes or any other part fails add the fluid so it doesnt come back on you.

    2) Get the number for contractor relations for your building. They will come down on the terminal and contractor for not handling this. Likely a slap on the hand since they have no proof, but they will at least have a target on your contractors back. Should shape things up. If you know your bosses ID# you can log in to mygroundbiz and figure that info out yourself. If you share badges it shouldn't be too difficult to get his number off the back.

    3) It sounds like you're in a satellite building. Around how many routes are run out of your building? Do you know if it is controlled by another facility? If so, contact the terminal manager at the terminal that is over your building. Out in the sticks they generally don't know what's going on with the smaller buildings. They just push the paperwork through.

    4) Cover your own ass. Start logging paperwork correctly. If you get fired for not falsifying DOT records then sue the idiot. Record your conversations with him. They may not be admissible, but it won't hurt you to have record of it.

    The honest reality is that no agency will look in to this until a catastrophic accident happens. Your best bet is to find a new job or start trying to work with FedEx to get him to shape up and get his :censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2: together.

    And if you do get fired make sure to keep track of the info you've given FedEx and the conversations you've had with them. If nothing was changed and you got canned... slap them with a lawsuit and walk away with a settlement.
  13. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    You wrote something that makes sense.
  14. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Contractor Relations will have no conversations with drivers. Period.
  15. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    So they are screwed. Period. Almost sounds designed that way, doesn't it? How is the cheek-spreading going?
  16. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Why do you pretend to care? Ground drivers are a plague on Fedex anyway, right? And hell, Ground isn't even a job worth having. Are you conflicted?
  17. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Nope. My job is to expose Ground for what is...a scam.
  18. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I have provided you a link to do just that at a national level. If Ed won't do it, nobody will.
  19. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Hell, maybe Ed will have you and MT3 on to discuss your obvious differences.
  20. hypo hanna

    hypo hanna Well-Known Member

    We aren't talking about multi billion dollar companies. We are talking about a ground contractor. I'm sure if the OP presented it as such to the authorities, they might be more keen to investigate.