CORPORATE communication FEEDBACK

Discussion in 'Fedex Freight' started by SwampRatt, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. SwampRatt

    SwampRatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    3,349
    Trophy Points:
    113
    By now most have had a chance to see the 2 Corporate communication videos, featuring M. L. Ducker, President of FedEx Freight. These videos are the 1st direct communication of substance we've had in a long time. I've said before, I for one, appreciate the direct communication. Little or no chance for the message to get lost in the translation. Bravo to FedEx (in general) and Mr. Ducker (specifically) for using this method to get your message out.

    Everyone I've spoken to seems to appreciate the improved (positive) tone of the videos. The effort to improve the culture seems to be promising. No complaints there.

    Now for the constructive criticism...

    We heard something about Regional Feedback Meetings, and the fact that the Northeast would begin theirs in April. Could we go into more detail about these? What defines the “regions”. What centers are in what regions, specifically. Who will participate in these feedback meetings?

    Since there are few known methods (yet) for voicing feedback, I'll post some here, and encourage others to do the same.

    The general consensus I'm hearing relates to 2 areas. 1St is the slow process of implementing the things that have been addressed. It seems that an extreme level of patience is being expected, on the drivers part. I understand this is a huge Corporation and all that, but still, it is a criticism, for what it's worth.

    In the first video we spoke quite a bit to road driver concerns, addressing several areas of the road driver experience. Semi-annual bids for runs, annual bids for tractors, flexibility in detour selection, road driver advisors, etc.

    The second video continued the positive theme, and reiterated much of what was said in the first video, adding several items of general concern. Pay for medical testing, driver composed accident review committee, among others.

    Now the 2nd area of concern. While quite a bit has been said and done to improve the road driver experience, little has been mentioned to address the City driver experience. The only specific mention of city drivers was the coming addition of a sales lead feature in the hand held device. While it might be good, helpful, and effective, that need was not really an overriding concern that anyone had voiced.

    A few examples and/or question that I hear, that are of concern:

    1) Road driver advisor: Why would it not be more effective to add a Driver Advisor position, rather than specifically road driver advisor. Is it wise to leave out a large (significant) majority of your drivers? Just an unanswered question.

    Why would city driver rules and processes not mirror the road rules and processes, whenever possible? Example: We say road drivers will bid a minimum of every 6 months, and bid tractors annually. Why not do the same on the city side?

    Another concern is Vacation pay. A city driver takes a significant pay cut when he or she takes a one week vacation. 40 hours is not an average week. Road driver vacation pay is based on annual earnings divided by 52, which equals 1 week vacation pay. Further divide by 5 to equal 1 day. Why is this not the same for all drivers? Is this reasonable? Balanced?

    We could go down the list, but again, the point is: Why can't city driver processes mirror road driver processes, whenever possible and/or practical.

    Anyone else want to share "feedback"? What are you hearing at your location?
     
    parigold, icuicp, Critter and 3 others like this.
  2. Sarge13B

    Sarge13B New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Being a city driver from the Northeast I have yet to hear anything about Regional Feedback Meetings or seen the videos from Mr. Ducker. All I've heard about proposed changes aside from what has already been implemented has been 2nd or 3rd hand info and we all know how twisted that can get.

    I fully agree with the need for Driver Advisor's as opposed to just Road Driver Advisor's. As much as I would like to see vacation pay same as road, 40 hours for hourly employees is pretty much the norm.

    One big change that I would like to see is the company dust off the old AF, Watkins, and Viking play books and get back to moving freight on time, intact, and damage free. Right now we are so wrapped up in numbers it seems to be all that matters. Dock guys being held to BPH target numbers, improperly loaded peddle runs to make load averages, etc. What we really need is LTL people in freight, and package people in Express and Ground. This includes sales (account mgr.) I can't remember the last time I've ran into an account rep at a customers dock or at the terminal for that matter.

    We have the people, equipment, and talent to be by far the number 1 LTL carrier, we just need to get back to being an LTL carrier run by LTL people.

    Not sure the background of Mr. Ducker. I haven't heard anything negative about him so hopefully he's committed to heading us in the right direction.
     
  3. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

    Messages:
    4,830
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Me being a road driver, I also expressed the same concerns....why/when will the city drivers be addressed? I was told it would be in the near future, guess we'll have to wait and see.

    As for the regional question, if you call Central Dispatch using the number that road drivers use, it gives a great breakdown of the regions...there's way to many to list, it's just easier to call, trust me! Maybe someone in your local management or sales team can provide you with a map.

    I'll also agree that implementing any said changes requires a lot of patience, not sure what takes so long either but then again, I'm also at the bottom of the food chain, those decisions are above my pay grade.

    Road Driver Advisor: I'll try to answer this by saying this position makes sense for the road, we used to have a Regional Road Manager back in the day. The reason is because of what we do...our day to day operations runs through Central, therefor we, as road drivers, work for Central in a sense, not the local center. Yes, we report to our local center, are dispatched out of, etc..., but Central makes ALL decisions concerning the road side...what frt runs in each lane, how many loads run in each lane, how many drivers are needed for each lane, etc...road dispatchers have very little say when concerning the road operations, they just do what Central says....thus, a Road Driver Advisor would act as our liaison between drivers and Central.
    City drivers on the other hand work for the local centers, everything you do comes from the local level, therefor, you answer to the local center. We only answer to the local center for local issues, all other issues are directed toward Central.
    Bids, tractors, etc, are local issues for the city but are Central issues for the road, does that make sense?

    We get screwed on vac pay as well....unless you run the same run year after year. For those of us that change runs, we actually take a cut in pay when we take vacation...and personal days, many request 10 hrs of pay instead of 8 because we really lose money when we use these, they're worse than vac pay!

    Again, city and road are two total different operations, you answer to a local level, we answer to Central (national level).
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    SwampRatt likes this.
  4. SwampRatt

    SwampRatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    3,349
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Sarge, I appreciate the feedback on your location.

    Most disturbing is the first paragraph. You're in the northeast and are not even aware of the announced Feedback Meetings (the first of which are in YOUR region!), or even the Corporate communications that you are supposed to be given ready access to.

    This highlights what was said early on. that the hardest part for Corporate is going to be getting all managers on board, all the way through the system. After many years of one singular focus, a lot of managers are simply not going to take these things seriously, in part because certain priorities have become so ingrained in their culture. Ask you manager about the new PSP initiative, and it's intent to refocus priorities.

    The first thing I would encourage you (or anyone else not having access to these communications) to do is call the FedEx In Touch Hotline IMMEDIATELY and share that information. You can do so anonymously or not. And you WILL get feedback from the call via a code number given during the call. The good part is it creates a paper trail and follow up if requested. This is pretty important.
    That number is on this page, click--> http://investors.fedex.com/governance-and-citizenship/policies/fedex-alert-line/

    Also, FYI M. Ducker came from Express International.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  5. SwampRatt

    SwampRatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    3,349
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks Red. You're right and I do understand the need for some differences due to differences in the operation AND a different chain of command. It still seems to me those differences in policy and processes should only exist when there is valid reason for it. Often there is NO GOOD REASON, and certainly no explanation for those differences.

    The fact that City drivers often do road runs and road drivers (less) often do city work, shows that there is much overlap. We have drivers. When possible and practical, the rules and processes for Drivers should be consistent.
     
  6. The Point

    The Point You get it or not!

    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    335
    Trophy Points:
    63
    What the company really needs is a Driver Advisory Board. This DAB would cover city and road driver under one umbrella. The city drivers would mainly deal with city issues and the road with those issues. This would be set up similar to the Diversity Council. Each center would have a certain amount of volunteer drivers from the city or road to meet on a regular basis. A formula would need to be developed for the specific number of DAB spots based on city routes and road runs.

    Example, for centers with 25 or fewer city drivers there would be 2 city and 2 road position. The largest center could see 15 or more members on each board but again this is just a example. The driver would field feedback on a daily basis as drivers encounter concerns. Once or twice a month all the DAB members will meet to discuss the problems. These issues will then be presented to management/HR and up the chain to the regional HR as a direct line of communication with the company. Perhaps one or several members depending on center size would meet with others from a region or hub group. Throughout the whole process these DAB members would be able to report back in preshift meetings the concerns raised and addressed to the company with the resulting feedback from FedEx about the issues.

    The company claims that we don't need a 3rd party to speak for us and that they wish to communicate directly with us instead. If they are truly sincere about this statement then they really need to address this issue of every one of our voices not being heard. That is where the union seed has really been planted. Wages and benefits aside there has been major concerns of management treating workers badly throughout the system. I think there is/are/were members of management that just disregarded issues and essentially threw the complaints in the trash so to speak. While most are fine, all it takes is a few. Up until now there has been no checks and balances to a complaint to local management or any idea for company wide improvement. How often has the company reached out to us from an upper management level in the past? Until the Ducker tour I do not think many have had the chance to talk directly to the ivory tower residents.
     
  7. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

    Messages:
    4,830
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I agree with the rules should be consistent but having worked on both sides of the wall, I can say almost for certain it's apples and oranges with operations in city vs road.
    Maybe you could show some examples of the differences in policies and processes that you have a concern with and I'll try my best to provide an answer....since I do have experience with working on both sides.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  8. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

    Messages:
    4,830
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Trophy Points:
    113
    You're explaining something that is very similar to what has been put into place in LOU....and can be done elsewhere. The employees in LOU expressed their need for this committee/board/panel to the residents of that ivory tower when they were in LOU.
    Maybe you can call or email the residents yourself and ask for your center to have the same type of board as well.
     
  9. SwampRatt

    SwampRatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    3,349
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Apple to apples? Should it be that different?

    You wanted examples. I'm not going to spend too much time on it, but... City should bid runs and extra board (flex/unassigned), just like road. We can go over the pros and cons (again), but I do feel the benefits out weight any downsides. It IS doable and has been done at times. Also the proper procedure should be enforced for extra (flex) in the city. #1 is supposed to get a choice of available runs, on down the line, until a point where there is no choice. I've never bid extra, so there has been no opportunity to challenge some of the manipulations of the past.

    Tractors should be bid on as well based on seniority, and of course expected availability. Some times they are. There should be a defined schedule for it. Just like road.

    Extra work: when there is the need to send drivers back out, seniority should come into play when possible/practical. For instance. There are 3 swaps left to do, and 5 guys due on the yard within minutes of each other. The senior 2 drivers should have the option as the whether (or NOT) to go back out. There are good reasons for doing this. I can explain, if you like.

    That's enough for right now, since i don't have the road driver handbook in hand.
     
    Purple Hammer and The Point like this.
  10. Crazy Trucker

    Crazy Trucker Clown Math Expert

    Messages:
    4,491
    Likes Received:
    1,679
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yeah they started the same focus group at my barn but it was supposed to be people from both sides of the union deal. They picked all people who voted no and 3 of them are just there to better themselves don't care about any of the issues. So I would say it's pretty much a joke at my barn. My only concern that could be changed right now would be 10 hour bids they are a joke most of the time it's hard to get your hours and we have some of the longest city routes in country. Put everyone on 8s and if you don't need guys let the top of seniority have off unless it makes it to bottom without somebody taking off make the junior guys stay home.
     
  11. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

    Messages:
    4,830
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Should it be that different, no, but it is.

    I agree, city should bid runs bi-annually atleast just like the road. The reality is we bid bi-annually as a minimum, we often have bump bids when drivers are going to be out for an extended period, and in some cases re-bump when they come back. Other times they're placed on the extra board until the next bid, all depends on the timing of their return. Central decides when and how we bid, not our local center, it's out of their hands. Many wished it was only two times a year.

    As for the unassigned, I can see where there would be some manipulation of the system...keeping the "hammers" in the city to get the job done while sending "others" to the road side when they're needed....or putting the "hammers" on the ball busting peddle runs while using "others" for swap outs....I agree that seniority should prevail and seniority should be used when assigning/bidding extra city runs. Our side has the same manipulation...when not all of the extra board gets out on Monday morning, they're all usually forced out on Monday night...thus trapping them on nights for the rest of the week while allowing city drivers to run extra daytime road runs Tues-Fri. Is this fair for the extra board road drivers? Why can't the unassigned city drivers be used for extra road runs at night?

    Our tractor policy of bidding by seniority is somewhat misleading. Actually, trks are put into a pool by how many runs are in a lane and Central decides what trks go into that pool. They use things like year, mileage, maintenance records, etc...to determine what trucks go into what pool. When a driver bids on a run in a certain lane, he uses his seniority to also bid on a tractor from a pool of trks that Central has declared be used for that lane, thus, if a lane has 5 runs, the said driver only has 5 trks to pick from...and this policy only pertains to road runs that don't slipseat. If we bid on a run that does slipseat, then we're forced to take the trk that has been assigned to that run by Central based on the fore mentioned criteria....so we bid on the run and trk at the same time....not exactly bidding on whatever truck we want like the policy sounds like. We do however, get to keep the trk for one year whether we bid on the trk or it's assigned to a run...even if we change runs. It'll be interesting to see how this works out come July.
    I do understand the need for this policy to work the way it does though. We used to be assigned a trk when they came in new and we kept that truck until it came back around for us to get another new one. The problem with this policy is that we ended up with two year old trucks having 500,000+ miles and five year old trucks with 200,000 miles.

    As for the drivers being sent back out, I used to hate going back out! When I hit the yard I wanted to be done for the day but it seemed like I was always sent back out while the same guys got to go home. I do agree that seniority should be used when possible/practical...on the road side they call it "hub discretion".

    In closing, the only similarities between the above mentioned and your concerns is that unassigned city and road extra board both get manipulated....but then again, on the road side the extra board is NOT considered a bid, you're exactly as it sounds, an extra driver. I'm guessing that unassigned city drivers are just that as well, they're NOT on a bid, they're unassigned.
    Road bids and tractors are decided by Central and city bids and tractors are decided by the local centers.
     
  12. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

    Messages:
    4,830
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Perhaps you should call the same people who reside in that ivory tower and voice your concerns. Sometimes you've got to go above the local management.
     
  13. SwampRatt

    SwampRatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    3,349
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks for the explanations... I thought I read in the manual somewhere that that trucks are to be bid by seniority. New trucks kept for 4 years. I actually can't recall if it that was a city or road rule. I did read it recently, on the intranet... Perhaps it hasn't been updated to reflect the new procedures. :idunno:

    I agree (I'm right there with you) on the going back out issue. It's kinda funny, but having talked to a lot of drivers about that "other topic", I've found that a significant number of city guys are, I guess we'll call it "fed up", with that very issue. About half are ticked at having to go back out, and the other half are ticked that they don't get to go back out. Seem to me that there is an obvious solution that could please all. A solution hidden in plain sight? Perhaps...

    I think many of the solutions to our problems are hidden in plain sight...
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
    Redracer3136 likes this.
  14. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

    Messages:
    4,830
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I agree, a lot of times the problems stem from communication....or lack thereof.
    Maybe you guys (city drivers as a whole) could suggest to your local management a way to come up with a volunteer board like they use for weekend work, except for "extra work" on a weekly basis. That way those who want to go back out that week could have the opportunity should the work be there and those that don't could go home....but you'd also have to realize that there would be times when if you're the only one available when the call comes in for "hot freight" to be picked up and you may be sent back out....but those instances would probably be rare. By making it a weekly volunteer list, you would have the opportunity to pick and choose by seniority what weeks work best for you and your family while providing the company with an ample amount of drivers to cover the freight.
    Just a suggestion.
     
    SwampRatt likes this.
  15. SwampRatt

    SwampRatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    3,349
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I actually really like that idea/solution. I'd thought about creating such a list... Everybody wins. I'd not considered it as a weekly updated list. That is an even better solution.

    Agreed, as far as sometimes, there is a need that would trump any preference. Still that small effort would fall right in line with PSP. :1036316054:
     
  16. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

    Messages:
    4,830
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Just an idea/suggestion...I'm sure if you took the time too brainstorm the idea, you could improve on it even more.

    Again, I don't have an answer for everything but unlike many, I, just like yourself, try to come up with solutions instead of just complaining.
     
    EX396 and SwampRatt like this.
  17. SwampRatt

    SwampRatt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    3,349
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Back on the unnecessary differences in vacation pay calculation between City and Road drivers. It seems that there is no reasonable explanation for the difference in this benefit.

    We're all drivers. We all get paid mileage for some things, hourly for other things, and flat rate "task" pay for others. We all have the same health insurance benefit, the same life insurance benefit, 401k benefit, pension benefit, steel toe shoe reimbursement benefit, personal/sick leave, benefit, disability benefit, continuing education benefit, etc, as well as the same cost (where they apply) associated with any of the above. The only difference is in that VACATION benefit. How can we justify this?

    If vacation pay for Road drivers based on an average of your annual earning is fair (I THINK IT IS), then it is equally fair for City Drivers.

    In fact, the average annual method is the most fair. It is an "earned" benefit. Therefore it is fair for it to be an amount based on the actual effort (earnings), and not just how much time has passed on the calender.

    Bottom line: There is no justifiable reason for a different benefit calculation method for different groups of drivers. I challenge anyone to make a valid argument to the contrary. And please, the fact that it's always been done that way is not a valid or logical argument.
     
  18. Crazy Trucker

    Crazy Trucker Clown Math Expert

    Messages:
    4,491
    Likes Received:
    1,679
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Easy now don't you dare bring facts in here.
     
  19. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

    Messages:
    4,830
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Trophy Points:
    113
    No argument from me, I can't see why the city driver's vacation pay couldn't be based on their average annual pay....although this type of vacation pay structure for the city "could" lead to a majority of city drivers accruing a maximum of 40 hours a week.
    With most decisions comes unintended consequences....be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

    The road is primarily paid mileage, the city primarily hourly.
    I'm guessing the only reason it's done this way is because a city drivers weekly vacation pay is closer to to what they actually make for a weeks pay. As for the road, if we were paid 40 hours of hourly pay for a weeks vacation, that week's check would probably average about a third less than our regular check. Does a city driver's current weekly vacation check average about a third less than their average weekly check?


    Under your "earned benefit" scenario, shouldn't the bidding of the vacation process also go by company seniority instead of job class seniority since our vacation is "earned" by years of service and NOT by years of job class service?
     
  20. BIG10-4

    BIG10-4 Active Member

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    97
    Trophy Points:
    28
    And Who Reads These Complaints? Corporate Guy's on They're Yachts While There eating they're Lobsters !! It's all about #### !! Go Watch That Movie Castaway Tick -Tock Tick -Tock !! They don't Care! !!
     
    FedexLube likes this.

Share This Page