FedEx Home Delivery Contractors - A Girlfriend's View

My Boyfriend decided to run a FedEx Home Delivery Contractor Route. What started out as an interesting venture is fast becoming a lousy prospect. Thinking about becoming one? Here are some things, good and bad that he tells me that would make me wonder. Hate the service? Possibly it ISN'T the idiot drivers fault. ANY AND ALL COMMENTS ABOUT FED EX Home Delivery Services and Routes ARE MORE THAN WELCOME. Again, this blog expresses my opinions and the opinions of any commenter who posts here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

More of the same

I haven't posted in a while because there really hasn't been all that much to add. We snuck in a long weekend and got married. I've temporarily given up my consulting business to take a full time job so that we can plan his next move and save up for his inevitable unemployment. How can you find work or plan a business when you spend most of your times focusing keeping a route running?

We will be getting rid of this nightmare, the next step is to decide what to do next. Sell the route hopefully with the truck. The problem is there is a confusing issue, where some people "buy" routes, his terminal, when someone decides to leave their route, it doesn't seem like any selling goes on. Its very vague.

Over the past year there have been some good things and mostly bad things that have gone on at FHD.

Good: They instituted the "swing" driver policy, which allows you to "buy" vacation time. A few of the drivers have taken on more temps so the "what is your supplemental driver plan for peak season" became non existent.

Bad: All the BS that always happens - nuff said, read people's comments here. The new announcement is "We are having "mandatory Mondays" during peak season this year". So far they have been light and it really hasn't solved all the problems with package overload that the terminal is having. Guys aren't getting out of there until 10:00am lately with 10 hours+ worth of stops. Ho HO Ho. Happy holidays right?

They tried to convince my husband to hire a "runner" this year to run the packages. When he pointed out that he has no desire to do W-2's they said, "Oh, no, the runner would be a contractor". HUH? As if they aren't pushing the envelope on declaring the "Owner Operators" are contractors, they are trying to define someone who "shows up when you tell them, and does everything you tell them to do all day" a contractor. Any OO that hires one of these "contractors" is seriously running the risk of having the IRS/State Labor division come after them. I imagine that FHD thinks that most "contractors" don't have a brain so they can feed them any line of BS they want.


At 8:41 PM, Blogger JeffC said...

Hello, I am a "newbie" to Fedexaminer and wish I knew about the site a couple years ago, I started out with FHD as a temp in october 2003, signed a contract a month later for my first route, averaged getting home 10:00pm every night for weeks because I was delivering in 4 counties and average mileage was 300-325 a day, all of this to do 40-55 stops a day (what a fool I was) I now realize looking at these numbers FHD does not have the volume they claim to have, there is no reason a driver should have to drive 300+ miles to do 40 stops and the core zones suck, I am in "rural West Virginia" out of those 40 stops maybe just maybe 10-15 of stops might be on a city street, the others are all out in left field and could be a 20 minute drive between stops. Of course I was talked into "growing my business", so I took on a second route and then a third, with the high cost of maintance, fuel and dealer repairs on 2 Sprinters which contractors were told was the best delivery vehicle on the market at the time, I just about lost my good credit that I had before this adventure, to cover alot of repair costs I had to dip into my personal monies as in personal checkbook, credit cards and little bit of savings I had, this took alot away from my family. I was told by my idiot terminal manager that maintance loans were only availible to ground contractors and not to HD contractors??? Anyways to make a long story short, I have sold all 3 routes (dirt cheap) but I guess I am lucky to leave with anything but what I did get from the routes will all go out to pay off outstanding debt I own from this great thing called "Home Delivery"

At 4:27 PM, Blogger rangikumatsumoto said...

Okay This might be a little random but I was on craigslist the other day and then there is a position for a fedex ground delivery driver through a contractor. I email them my resume and she emailed me back asking if I could pass the background check and drug test. I said yes and she had me go fill out the application through fedex. My question is I have another job right now working front desk of the hotel but it doesn't pay very well She said the job will be from 7 am to 430-500 Eat today and I'll get it before taxes about 600 a week It'd be double what I'm getting right now at my job per week . I just wanna know what it be a good idea to take the job I should I say at a job I have now because I'm comfortable with it and I know I have it.


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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Dear Sir or Madam. Sorry to be so negative

An Anonymous Contractor posted yesterday in the "Sound Off" section on the side bar. I thought I'd answer his/her critique and analysis of my journal entries but since he/she didn't leave a reply e-mail please bear with me if I'm being a little redundant.....

Anon: A couple of things..There's just way to much complaining going on here.

Me: I'm sorry that it bothers you that I primarily have negative things to say. Yes, there is a lot of complaining going on here in this personal BLOG but again this is my opinions and observations. Some nice customer service people from FedEx have commented that some of this info helps them understand what many go through so ( *hi! And thanks! To them* ) I'm glad that my negativity does have a potential for positive outcome for some.

I WISH I had more positive things to say and like I mention above, YOU are more than welcome to comment here. If you want to explain the good aspects of doing this rather than tell me that I'm wrong -- comment or send it as an e-mail and I'll gladly post it with a title - so you can share your experiences and contradict my complaints. I'd love to hear from anyone that is happy doing their route and are having good experiences because from what I can tell there MAY be some out there. Maybe you are one of them. Maybe you can share insight how you've made your route better or more productive. Sadly, though, I only hear from aggravated and ex-and-glad contractors through posts and e-mails.

As a matter of fact, I haven't posted much lately because ALL I would be doing right now is bitching -like a broken record- about the same things every day. It is peak season and it just plain SUCKS, more so than last year. I miss my boyfriend - the BEAR that shows up at my house each night whom I feed before he crawls into bed is a poor substitute.

And I've tried to point out the good things in posts, but like I've said - we've been finding much more bad than good in this venture. I feel he signed on to the deal without having a good opportunity to weigh the positive picture with the negative, because, well management would be fools to have a potential candidate talk to contractors that they KNOW would be less than encouraging. So if my voicing my opinion balances out that "super happy contractor people" glossy handout that he was given in the beginning - The one that touted "perfect for soccer moms and retires! " (Yeah, right!) helps anyone at all see that people DO have negative feelings, so be it. Many contractors won't openly talk about anything if they know management can get wind of it and I wish the stories of petty punishments for out of line contractors were fairytales - but local knowledge recently tells me otherwise. All I know is you need to watch what you say in jest to people you know in the terminal -- if you don't want to be threatened with the famous "jeopardized contract" speech.

Anon: I'm a contractor, it's hard work. Maybe some people should just sit behind a desk.

Me: Its not the hard work, as you imply, that aggravates him every day. He's no slacker, trust me and usually takes pride in hard work. In all the time I've known him he's had "desk" jobs and physically demanding jobs. What appealed to him about this was not being behind a desk again and the thought that it would be a start to running a business. Today, after sitting around all day yesterday nursing what looks like the onset of the flu he is out doing his job. Even IF there WERE a way he could have called in sick he wouldn't have. In the over 10 years I've been with him he's called in sick to work maybe 2 times. He's taken two days off from FHD total in over 1 1/2 years being there, gets his service bonus every month, and has only had one valid claim ever. He tries very hard to be a professional - tries to be courteous and customer oriented, keeps his truck maintained and (I think overly) clean. I tell him how proud I am of him and he says, "Yeah? You girl, have issues. How can you be proud of me getting into something that sucks so bad?" He is frustrated and disillusioned and I'm saddened to see how his enthusiasm has gone down the drain.

His complaints AND the complaints of many other posters are over the utter lack of control over their own "business", and the downright underhanded way the company decides to bend and change rules, contract and modes of operations to fit their plan with total disregard of any the objectives or input of the "contractor businessmen". He and others thought it was a reasonable contract and a true business deal only find out the just how wrong they were. The only "proprietary interest" he has is on paper to make it look like it complies with the 1099/SS-8 formula. Come on, they flex around zones at will claiming its part of the contract - they can do it because their definition of core zone is as loose as the rest of the worthless contract. This is why the lawsuits like in California are beginning to roll. I don't know, perhaps they don't pull crap on you or you don't care.

So get out you might say? We are looking at options for using the truck he's now stuck with in a real business by the time the contract is up. He EXPECTES hard work but for something he can control, grow and treat as his own true business entity. Not the "job" - where you are responsible for buying and maintaining an expensive vehichle - that FHD is. People start businesses so that they can call at least some of the shots, not to be told how and what to do day in and out. The only shots it seems he gets to call is -should he do the route in a different order today -does he risk leaving that package there -should he stop in a bathroom to take a piss or will the snapple bottle do -will he get gas before going to the terminal or later -will he change the oil Sunday or Monday. And don't tell me its the nature of the model. My father ran a food delivery route which was a true Independent Contractor Delivery model with control over volume, hours, growth and potential expansion - it was a far cry different than what FedEx doing. They just look right on paper.

Anon: I do have a problem with two entries that are conflicting. If he has a tight route (178 stops - urban) how in the hell could an appointment stop take 50 miles and 1.5 hours? The total mileage for the route is probably more like 75-90 total miles daily. What gives?

Me: Here is how in the hell and what gives. First off the "tight route" you are referencing is peak season volume and pushing the DOT max for that area. Its been flexed and compressed with his and the adjacent areas normal urban areas only. His rural areas are being done by a neighboring supplemental, he thinks but, even though it is his "core zone/zipcode" managment isn't into discussing it with them. Funny, its his by contract, isn't it? His "normal" urban/rural route averages 100 low-120 high. That day, he had his entire normal area and about 1/2 of a contractor who just left's unfamiliar area.

So The truck was FULLY loaded, with some pretty big items as first stops. It was sprung it on him just as he was about to leave - a morning appointment to go to a place where he'd would be towards the end of the route. Do the route backwards I thought? Well all the end of route packages were blocked by beginning of route packages so he'd have to re arrange the truck, mainly by repacking. So he did the alternative, deliver his first ones, stop, go to the appointment 22 or so miles away, then come back and finish. Since it was his first time in the new area, he really wanted to follow the route plan to avoid running in circles all day too. The emergency road closing and subsequent traffic jam and detour was just the garnish. (PS: FHD charged $15, he got an extra $3 but the burden was basically his)


At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi. my contract was just cancelled after 5yrs. of running 10-13 hrs daily plus trying to operate a supplemental route for 7 months last year and the first 3 months this year. when I qut running the supplemental mgmt was pissed off to say the least. They started switching my 2 contracted routes around and telling me I had to take pkgs another contractor wouldn't take. I already had 10 hrs of driving daily on a slow day and it wasn't the slow days that they wanted more. I got the "jeopardizing your contract" speech daily and I dreaded going to the terminal each morning. I started telling mgmt that it didn't make sense to load boxes I wasn't going to have time to deliver and refused to take them. I offered to swap my pimary core zone and asked for even more stops so I could run a supplemental van without losing much money. They've got problems with other contractors at the terminal and want to make an example out of me to scare everyone else. In 5 yrs I had one complaint and zero claims and zero at-fault accidents(rear-ended at a stop light once) covered my entire route every peak season ran a supplemental to provide service and some idiot who never managed anyone in his life is promoted to manager and decides he knows my capabilities better than I do. His mgr supports him because he promoted him and if my mgr can't do his job, he looks bad for promoting an incompetent.I've gotten an aggressive attorney who thinks I have an excellent shot at a settlement. I have 3 vans I owe more on than they're worth that fed-ex made me buy as part of our so-called contract. The battle is on in Oregon just like in California but Oregon has tougher contractor guidelines. According to Oregon statutes I'm not even close to being "independent." FICA, unemployment insurance,overtime pay and voiding the contract of everyone in Oregon are in the offing for fed-ex home


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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Happy Holidays - er, um yeah.

Its that time again. The Holiday season, the time for ........

The frenzied rush of shopping and people saying, "Forget the malls, I'm going online and having it delivered" aka the onset of the dreaded "Peak Season".

So far the load is topping at about 178 stops, a little over his individual threshold. They still aren't too happy about the supplemental thing but, he found out "contractor of the year" man isn't hiring as well, so he feels better that their "star pupil" agrees with him.

So, the late long days that make our Holiday's so joy filled are in full swing. Last year it was really tough to get into any sort of holiday spirit, knowing that he was out there nightly busting his ass even on Christmas Eve so that someone could get that last minute present and not have to worry about missing a beat with their family gatherings by bothering to go out an buy it. To him the holidays have become a nightmare that he no longer wants to celebrate.

It aggravates me that FedEx thinks opening Christmas Eve and the Day after Thanksgiving is such a peachy idea to begin with. Customers NEED to have gifts delievered those days? What about PLANNING AHEAD and taking ownership for your gift giving dilemas and procrastination. No, we should make sure that we mess with service people's lives so some idiot can decide 3 days or so before Christmas that he/she needs to buy things and enable this. Its sick.

SO I'm trying very hard to come up with little thing to keep his spirits up, like trying to pack warm/good things for him to take for lunch, stocking up on new thick cushy wool socks and extra warm underware, spare "big" flashlights in case the big spot breaks, and things that last year became critical on cold dark nights. I'm wondering what kinds of survival kits other contractors keep to deal with peak season.

To all you contractors that read these posts, I'm giving you all imaginary hugs because you need one right now. AND, I promise you. I haven't ordered a single Christmas present online.


At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm a customer service rep for Fedex and i'm really addicted to reading your Blog. It's giving me so much insight into how the Ground and Home Delivery contractors work and think. I can't ever imaging being put in that situation your boyfriend is in!!And i thought dealing with the fall-out from customers was worse!!!!Tell your boyfriend that myself and all the customer service agents I know are reading this blog and trying to do all we can to make the day go a little bit better for them.Keep on writing, it's awsome stuff! Thanks Rene

At 6:30 PM, Blogger S said...

Thanks Rene!
I have sympathy for your group. I worked in customer service for a few years and its a thankless job at times.

I'm giving him total deniability by not telling him my blog exists. However I do tell him about interesting snippets that I read here by saying I read it "on some forum" so I'll figure out a way to pass on your support.

I'm glad you guys find some value in this to help the system work a bit better. I'll keep you guys in if something comes up that may be of interest to you.

At 2:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a contractor. have been since the very first day. At our terminal things have finally hit rock bottom. If we don't have our packages scanned by 8:50 am. we must go out without a turn-by-turn and must hand sheet all of our accounts. The first day they did this two people quit, one contractor and one supplemental. I can't believe the ignorance of our management. Just as peak is really gearing up we lose valuable people. A lawyer has already been contacted. I expect this manager will lose his job and that the contractor will recieve compensation for this violation of the contract. My only saving grace is that I have only 10 more payments on my truck and I can get out of here.

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband is also a contractor for FedEx and I totally agree with you. They tell him they HAVE to deliver before christmas but if the person really cared so much about having it delivered at a certain date and time thats what FedEx express is here for not home delivery. If someone denies to take the package and just denies to open the door because they don't know who could be sending them the package, guess what, they don't get paid because the package wasn't delivered even though they went all the way out there. But fedex gets paid for the shipping that didn't happen why not the drivers. And out of nowhere 30 minutes later if the customer decides oh he wants the package now, it's also considered the driver's obligation to go out there the same day and deliver it again. And now after all these years of them telling their contractors to take up drivers as contractors, they have made it mandatory for us contractors who have additional drivers to treat them as employees and file W-2s. They control what we do, when we do it, how we do it, even our trucks that our in our name and our property have to have FedEx logos (free publicity) and can't be used after hours.


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Friday, October 29, 2004

And So It Begins

They started with the Peak Seaon threshold talks a while back, and, my Boyfriend just couldn't wait to hear what they were "projecting" for him. After all, he's been saying to people that he doesn't want to hire a supplemental, and I guess the spys on the floor got that info back to management (the creepy dude that my BF says is just "too happy all the time" is my suspect). Word is they are shocked or something that he doesn't want to do this, what with all the "earning potential" it brings. I'm sure it shocks them every time someone says, no, its not in my "business plan" to take on the burden of seasonal employees. (Probably because they don't believe that one of the sheep in their flock has chosen to BAH at all and anger them).

He was given an individual threshold that is ALMOST doable under 12 hours so already we know the bonus is gone because there WIIL BE "Did Not Attempts" coming back because he WON'T exceed the DOT limit, he WON'T do the number "fudging" that they'd like either. Word is, they've been doing some number fudging themselves, making sure that there are no over 12hr days even if the day is 13hrs. Believe me, the minute they pull it on him, the minute they make him sign the hours sheet and the numbers have been lowered, I'm calling the DOT 1-888-368-7238 (DOT Safe Driving Violation Number) and letting them know about the creative time accounting they've been doing. I've recommended he start logging the hours and really want to find a way to track it from the scanner itself as proof.

SO, as I've said before, YEAH, RIGHT: Supplementals are GOOD MONEY . OK, Sure -- well, it seems to work out to be about a couple hundred bucks a week after expenses - to worry about: Will the guy quit or call in sick or get hurt and you are stuck with this threshold and responsibility, will the guy "release" packages and in turn get YOU claims, will the guy run the rental into a phone pole and give YOU insurance issues, will the guy DNA a lot and cost you your bonus, make you end up having to deliver a larger bulk anyway? All things that can tick tick tick away from your "great" earnings. He stills sees this as breakeven at best and only headaches for him. He sees it as not what he signed up for, he didn't do it last year, he will not do it this year.

Well, its clearly not a popular stance and the past few weeks pressure has been building up. He is WELL OVER the threashold already and I'm sure it's in part punishment and/or a way to cause problems to say he's not performing - although he generally does more volume than a bunch of the other guys, has maybe one or two claims total, and has taken maybe 2 days off in the year he's done this. Its AGAIN obvious that WAVE MAKERS are dealt with harshly to scare the herd and to make sure that everything goes management's way. Who care's if he's a good performer who takes pride in his work, truck and image - the supposed idea of what they are looking for.

So, right now, its wait and see. He will only do his 12 hours, whatever he doesn't do will come back with him in the morning and if he's got more than 12 hours worth the next day they'll build up. END OF STORY. We know they'll try and say he's not fullfilling his contract which I think is hysterical to say the least. I'm encouraging him to say, its your problem not mine, "I fully acknowledge the contract where it says you reserve the right to allocate packages from my zone to other drivers when the volume is more than I can reasonably handle in a day."

I expect soon to be posting the dramas of "breach of contract" OR alternately "How He Walked Away" in the coming weeks because one or the other is going to give.

I like the idea of one of the commenters to this site. I'm wondering what newspaper would publish a nice story about our own brand of "A Christmas Carol". Probably none, they probably get "great rates".


At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know when I did it last year they had you enter as your start time (which is supposed to be when you first start scanning and loading your truck) 15 minutes before you actually left the terminal. They are the real evil empire. I hope they get screwed by that lawsuit. I know I'll be in on the class action suit to follow.

At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The management tells your business to all the brown nosing employees as well..At least at Pittsburgh terminal 3152. So I know a few others that will be in on that suit..If your not screwing someone or if you don't kiss managements ass your a black baller. To get hirer up or a 5 star award you have to do one of hr's. Doctor paperwork yes its Management


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Saturday, October 23, 2004

Why pay for Labor?

My hard drive problems being fixed, I thought I'd post on the latest from today. Other stuff has happened as well but today's little announcement has me hopping mad.

I got a call from the truck this morning from a somewhat aggravated boyfriend. This morning, the terminal manager announced that, since they are short handed, the contractors will be needing to help in some of the package handling functions - sequencing and numbering the packages. He said that it was "majority rule" and since only a couple people voiced a problem - they were rolling with it. My BF says most guys are just keeping quiet and going with the flow but evidently there is one guy pretty pissed. My BF is not all that happy about it either, he thinks it might add another 45 minutes or so to the load time meaning he'll have to get in there even earlier. When peak season hits fully they'll be really screwed.

It seems like a pretty sneaky maneuver on the part of FHD. In my industry, when we are shorthanded, we call say, A TEMP AGENCY to get extra help. They pay package handlers somewhere around $9-$10 an hour. I'm sure they could pay temps a little less. But why bother when you have able bodied contractors around that you can coerce into doing it for free? They didn't offer any money for this extra work that will most likely make a 10 hour day into 11 and so on. If this really was a "business" like they keep insisting, there wouldn't even be this concept of "majority rule" either. How can other contractors have a remote say in determining the work performed by everyone? Were they a unified group, perhaps, but this is supposed to be an independent model. UNREAL

My opinion is he should go in and tell them to shove it for good and figure out how to re-use or sell the truck. What's next? Getting in at 4:00am and unloading the tractor trailers and sorting out their own packages?


At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has he tried to get something like a cookie route. Having been a fedex home flunky (err... I mean contractor) I ended up just leaving and taking a loss on the truck. However I know of one contractor who purchased a cookie route. That way he kept his truck. From what I hear he's making real money doing it also. His route consists of several stores (ex. walmart, supermarkets etc) His stores are all in the same general area so he doesn't trash his truck. He starts around 6 and the lastest they'll let you goto a store is around 2) He makes way more than the fed ex thing. There is no sense bitching about fedex. They don't care and nothing will change. They know with the poor economy they can find other dopes to do this. Better to cut your losses and run as fast and as far away as you can.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger S said...

An added note, after the pissed guy got done talking to them the idea seems to have been dropped. Go Pissed Guy!

At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone thinking of becoming a Fedex Home delivery driver better get a lawyer to go over the contract before purchasing the truck. The contract is written all in FHD's favor, and the incompetent managers who operate the terminals do not care to abide by the contract.


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Friday, October 01, 2004

What's good and how I think it could be improved.

We were talking the other night about what (if anything) he likes about the "job". Right now the bad outweighs the good, but in all fairness, it isn't my intention to just complain about this whole thing. I just want to contribute an honest bit about things that really happens because we found it so hard to find the truth even from the "test run driver".

He says that, if it weren't for all the BS, what he spends his day doing is all that bad. Once he learned most of his route and stopped having to worry about finding EVERY street, things have gotten a little smoother. He gets to observe more goings on around him and deal with people a little more personally.

Delivering can actually be interesting in some ways, his route is varried between city, suburb and rural so there is plenty of variation to the day in terms of driving and the types of things being delivered. I find it interesting that He gets claims in affluent areas mostly that usually turn out bogus in terms of the release program since there are better ways to put packages out of site. With $500K house I guess you need to find ways to rip off FedEx for your order. The doors may be half falling off, the windows partially boarded up, the paint chipping but they get the wine of the month club? I guess you need priorities in life. All in all, if the day isn't overloaded he can almost enjoy the work and being out and about instead of behind a desk. And, on the non-overloaded days he can actually do what they claimed the division was about, provide friendly neighboorhood type service where he can take the time to chat every now and then.

What makes it bad is, they don't get paid for each attempt to deliver things, the overload means they have to rush if they want to get home at night, the terminal expects them to just "appoinment deliver" and "go back" to the customer without extra payment and that everything that is a problem for FHD logistics is automatically the drivers' responsibility.

Considering what I read about people complaining about the service most contractors have the same situation. If FedEx would take a good look at it from a customer service perspective they could improve both their image and the overall job/business satisfaction of the contractors.

It would take some costs to do but I think these are some things that would be good for management to focus on, albeit probably a fantasy :

Really plan volume by having honest reviews with the contractors about the volume they can handle. Consider the contractors input and be just as flexible as they want the contractors to be. Set realistic package thresholds and get a true estimation of the needed number of contractors. To stay competative doesn't just mean package volume, it means excellent customer service and how can they do this under the pressure to performthey are under?

Build a "small" supply of temp/relief drivers. Either get away from the idea of zero fleet/zero paid employees or build a program where the people who want to run multiple trucks can supply the force but make it worth their while. If you have 100 contractors that may want to take 2 weeks off during the year that is 104 weeks worth of work and if there were a true 3-4 relief only trucks then the contractors could breath a little easier. These reliefs should bear the brunt of claims/insurance. Nothing is more aggravating than knowing that the temp that drove for you lost you your monthly "bonus" because they got a valid claim.

Allow some sort of FHD independent contractors group to be formed. When my father was running a delivery truck for the food industry, he was part of a group that made it possible for them to get things like reduced healthcare, disability, credit unions and other services. FHD is so paranoid about teamsters and unions that they miss the point that having and allowing a support group would benefit them overall.

Encourage contractor input in the "roundtables" rather than shooting down everyone's concerns and questions. Stop this concept of "taboo" subjects and "jeopardizing your contract" everytime you voice an opinion.

I have the feeling that there are a lot of contractors that wouldn't want to walk if things could be improved. The overall concept of what the service is supposed to be is appealing however in its current implementation, it really isn't working. I wonder what other people think is good and what they'd like to see made better.


At 8:26 PM, Blogger Al-Felixzeera said...

Hey! :) I was extremely confused yet intrigued by your blog, so much so that I went back to the first post. I believe you have an extremely interesting point of view from being in a different position than most people. Most people go to work, come home, watch t.v., etc. Yet, here i see things like inventory, temp workers, etc, thing i believe people could learn from. Keep up the good work. :)

Best of luck


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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Search Engine Exclusions?

Something funny I've noticed. For a couple of weeks now, I've seen people hitting this page from search engines like Yahoo. Now suddenly, you can't find a single reference to this page on there. Its like someone magically erased it, or, if I was being paranoid that there was some biased exclusion going on. You have to wonder if FedEx has something to do with it and it wouldn't surprise me.


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The Class Action Lawsuit (UPDATED 9/29)

An anonymous commentor asked a question here about the "Class Action Lawsuit". I thought I'd post a little about that today because it also may be helpful to some who don't know about it. The site I mentioned in "A link to FedEx information for FedEx Employees" has a copy of the lawsuit in their documents section, but you may have to create a login to access this PDF file. Its a free site and they promise not sell your e-mail or send spam. I haven't gone through the site nearly enought, but its a good site to find information.

About the lawsuit. There were three FedEx Ground contractors in California - Estrada, Morgan and Roberts who filed the suit requesting that the judge find, in their favor, that they are "employees" of FedEx based on the nature of the contract. The judge picked through the "contract", which sounds identical to the Home Delivery contract, and ruled that two of the contractors were indeed employees. This was decided 7/26/04. They will go through another round of findings to determine the accounting but what it means is, FedEx will need to back pay these contractors for various things. It will be interesting to see what they will be responsible for.

The reason that he did not find in favor of the third contractor was that he was running more than one truck and they felt that multiple route contractors are indeed independent. They also excluded contractors that formed LLC's and Corporations, Temp Drivers, workers who are contracted by contractors and line-haul drivers.

I found it very interesting to read the document because the Judge really scrutinized the contract. I would recommend that anyone considering a route read it. I'm not sure where the ruling will go nationwide, but it does open the door for other people to file in their states since the precedent has now been set. The site did mention that there was a meeting at the filing attorney's office on Monday, September 20 for FHD contractors who qualify so it looks like they may be moving forward in California.

My boyfriend had formed an LLC, like many other contractors at his terminal and that may have been a mistake. He formed "after" the contract was signed, so he may have a shot. But, it is also something to consider if you are already a contractor who may be thinking of forming a company.

This is straight from the website of the law offices representing the Californian FHD Contractors. There you can find the press release as well as a copy of the ruling. I've contacted them to ask if they know of any other states pending lawsuits, since I would believe that lawers elsewhere would be trying to get information. I'll post whatever response I get here.

On July 26, 2004, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Howard Schwab issued his ruling in the liability stage of the class-action lawsuit Estrada v. FedEx. The decision, issued following nine weeks of trial and extensive post-trial briefing, finds that all single route pickup and delivery drivers employed by FedEx Ground in California are employees, contrary to the Company's attempt to designate them as independent contractors. The Court also found that the drivers have not been indemnified for expenses incurred in the course of their work, and the Court therefore ordered the parties to return for phase two of the trial, in order to determine the extent of the company's monetary obligations toward class members. A more complete summary can be found in plaintiffs' press release announcing the decision.


At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Wifes View (family Matters)

I to am the wife of an FHD contractor. Im also the mother of a one year old. I mine as well just call myself a single parent. The hours that my husband put in every day I get to see him only on the weekends. Other than the fact that i share my bed with him at night and give him a kiss goodbye in the morning(while he is sleeping of course)Sunday and Monday are our only days together. Even on Mondays its not all play usually im driving him to STS to get new tires or brake pads. My daughter misses him dearly.
Im so sick of showing up at Saturday family gatherings by myself "oh he had to work...". They always ask me "why didnt he just take the day off?" Yea right like he can afford that. If he didnt have to miss a days pay PLUS pay for a driver I know he wouldn't have missed his daughters first birthday. Im also sick of hearing "Honey were gunna have to wait a while on that health insurance my truck needs six new tires" we supposedly make 64k a year but my daughter was eligible for government health insurance once you subtract expenses and taxes.
They called it easy! They said PERFECT FOR RETIREES AND SOCCER MOMS!!! MAKE YOUR OWN HOURS they said. Yeah thats what they said! to bad there wasn't any fine print that said in accuality you have to show up early, work very late, we will suck you dry of every penny you own and kill your every dream of moving up in the world. My husband comes home every night so stressed that he has no energy, no interest, no amition, nothing He just wants to sleep. I tell him every day that Fed-Ex is killing him and his family. We need to go some where else.
Im currently in school so hopefully one day that will give us some relief. But what now? Were falling more and more in to debt because of this so called business. by the time im out of school we'll be bankrupt. He needs to get out now! But what about the truck?? we can't afford to continue paying for an unused vehicle. It's also tying up our credit, so much for getting a second car.
Besides the fact that he doesnt get paid nearly what he should be for how many hours he works. Fed-ex also treats him like he is a pile of dog shit sitting on the ground. Customer service bad mouths him every chance they get. A customer told him once that he should really have a talk with someone in his terminal becuase she had just gotten off the phone with customer service and they told her that he was and idiot, he was lazy, and he didn't know what he was doing becuase he was new. NEW!! Hes been working there for four years! Another time he found a sheet of paper in his mail box at the terminal that said a customer had requsted that he leave the packages on the front door not at the side door. ok perfectly reasonabe but customer service wrote a note on the bottom that they told the customer he was lazy and he didn't feel like walking to the front door thats why he did what he did. What?! How do they have the right to tell a customer that he is lazy or an idiot? Not only do they bad mouth him to customers but everytime a phone call is made it gets put in as a comlaint. It could be someone calling to find out the status of there package that hasn't even arrived to that terminal yet. Every complaint he gets means no bonus that month. I really dont't understand why he takes all that crap.
Not only do complaints effect your bonus but so do DNA's (did not attempt)So therefore if he had over 100 stops that day in order for him to not violate DOT time. It's inevitable he is going to have DNA's. Bye bye bonus!
Fed-Ex really has a funny way of running thier business. One day they give the drivers a .07 cent raise or 4$ a week for taking on some more contracts. Two weeks later they lower all core zones by 5%. YaY minus a dollar. One day they had one of those meetings that they never give notice for. It was all about safety. SAFETY FIRST!! and all that stuff. The very next day it snowed three feet and they made the contractors drive to the teminal to pick up the packages. They didn't care how they got delivered just deliver them. Most contractors worked on their weekend that week just to catch up.
Basically what im trying to say is unless your completly out of your mind and your not trying to raise a family don't join Fed-Ex!! Fed-Ex Sucks!!!!

At 11:58 PM, Blogger fedexxed said...

Boy it seems like yesterday I was living the same nightmare but it was six years ago on 12/31/98 that RPS/ FedEx Ground terminated two drivers in California who had worked for the company for 7 and 9 years for nothing more than the terminal manager simply decided he did not want to renew our contracts. Hi, my name is Jeff Morgan and the other driver was Tony Estrada we filed a class action lawsuit against RPS/FedEX Ground in May 1999 that is now known as Estrada v. FedEx Ground. And thanks to an outstanding team of Lawyers, a firm we initially retained in January 1999, And an entire staff of dedicated workers we defeated them. I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel, as a father of four I remember comming home in the same condition as your boyfriend. Our attorney's have informed us that they have decided to take on the Fed Ex Home Delivery case in our state. Tony and I attended one of their start up seminars back when they were just getting off the ground and the similarities between the two companies are remarkable in fact it was the same thing on a smaller scale.If there is anyway of reversing this llp he may want to try and do it, the judge in our case ruled that multiple route drivers, corperations, and llp's were out of the class something to do with it tends to suggest a person is more in line with the I/C concept if they are one of the above.In any case justa bit of advise BE ORGANIZED keep all of your receipts, and records of everything including documentation of meetings, buisness discussions, etc.KEEP EVERYTHING you have no idea how valuable it is. I wish you luck and if there is anything I can do for you don't hesitate to ask. be strong and do not let them intimidate you.

Good Luck

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a new ex-FedEx employee. I was employed for eight years in the FedEx corporate services (sales) division. All was well until June 2004. In my previous 7 years, I had been commended as an excellent acount executive, and recieved excellent reviews. In June 04 my department was closed and I was transfered to a restructured sales district with an former RPS (FedEx Ground) district sales manager as my immediate supervisor. My life changed drastically!! Every aspect of my daily work routine, sales territory management, sales data input and quotas were now micromanaged. I was threatend with termination regularly on a two week basis. Our entire sales group (11 account executives, some with more than 20 years with FedEx) was now subject to management by intimidation. My work day consised of data entry 6am - 8am, territory managememt and sales calls 8 am - 5pm, drive time back home (usually between 6pm-7:30pm), then email correspondence, sales data entry, contract proposal, letters to customers, resolving service issues, etc. to about 11pm each night. Saturday consisted of about 3 hours of further data entry and sales data followup. Sunday evening about 8pm the week started again with about 2 hours of territory sales planning.
This was just to keep from being fired!! I had no life. I ended up in therapy. This was no way to live. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. The only reward was being thankful you still had a job. But at the end of the week the physical, emotional and psychological price paid did not come anywhere near the finacial compenstaion and benefits received. I was uncerimoniouly terminated in June 05. I seems that our esteemed manager needed to make room for a younger, less compensated account executive to better the bottom line.
Thanks for the space to communicate.
An ExFedEx corporate employee


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