FedEx and the Real Price of Those Socks You Bought at WalMart

With the recent barrage of corporate cutbacks and layoffs nationwide, a new mantra has emerged amongst those of us still employed or suffering from reduced pay cuts: “Well, at least I have a job.”

Oh, gosh. What is the logic in being grateful for the gross financial negligence of upper management? What kind of slave-driving, corporate brainwashing crap is it that we’re buying? We should be mad. And angry. And fed up.

Fred Smith, FedEx’s CEO, recently announced an across-the-board reduction in pay for his workforce. To make it seem fair, Fred’s gonna suffer with the masses through these hard times by slicing his own pay by twenty percent. Man, he sounds like an alright guy, right? Let’s see what Forbes has to add.

According to Forbes’ statistics, which placed Fred Smith as the 51st most-compensated CEO, the esteemed patriarch of the “FedEx family” makes an annual salary of 1.39 million. Well, make that 1.12 million after his humble reduction. I’ll be honest: The guy deserves to make a lot of money. After all, Fred founded FedEx and has spent nearly four decades overseeing it. Being the labor rights advocate that I am, I’d be willing to go as far as to claim Fred’s salary would be an example of “a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.” Of course, that’s only his salary.

Last year, in the midst of an obvious economic state of emergency, Fred accepted some chump change from the company. Forbes categorized it as: bonus (1.4 mil), other — my favorite (4.34 mil), and stock gains (only 25.07 million). Calculator, please? All in all, Smith made $32,210,000.00.

His drivers, whose pay averages between 20,000 and 51,000 depending on location, are reciting the new mantra, happy they at least have a job. On FedEx’s “Citizenship Blog,” [vomit] a worker wrote this comment in response to Monsieur Smith’s announcement:

Thank you Mr. Smith. I am proud to take the 5% paycut. I’ve only been here 10 years and the main thing I’ve learned is that we (FedEx) is a FAMILY!!! I would rather have paycuts rather than a few of our “family” members losing their jobs. If this decision had come from anyone other than Mr. Smith himself, I’d be worried. I trust Mr. Smith and know that he is looking out for us and our families. To all of you whining about your 5% loss – you’d better thank God you still have a job and thank God we have someone like Mr. Smith watching out for YOUR job. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my FedEx family! [sic]

Smith made roughly 850 times more than the hull of his delivery folks last year. What kind of Kool-Aid are they putting in the water jug up there? When a CEO takes a pay cut, it’s generally not a sacrifice; it’s PR bizwax. PR like this is a good thing when just year before last Fred Smith’s FedEx corporate homeboys were slapped with an official court order by the government to discontinue their labor violations against drivers in California. Don’t take my word for it; see what the National Labor Relations Board had to say.

It’s not just FedEx or Fred Smith’s Empire of Seemingly Corporate Evil. It’s everybody — me, too. We’re cheap and arrogant and possibly ignorant. Combine that with a few incredibly misguided political labor decisions and BAM! Look at where we are now — just happy to “have a job.”

The American labor market is a whole other ball of wax from its unionized inception a century ago. Our jobs have been shipped overseas and farmed out recklessly by both the donkeys and the elephants. “Made in America,” a phrase once indicative of real national pride and loyalty, has shifted into some kind of netherworld obscured by NAFTA and CAFTA and consumer greed. When you’re standing there in Wal Mart at three in the morning in San Diego shopping for underwear and socks which you forgot to pack in Dallas, chances are you’re gonna nab the cheapest products without caring where they were made or by whom.

That’s when you should think about this article and others like it, which discuss the direct links between offshoring for profit, layoffs, and the effects both have contributed to weaken the economy. (Of course, you might also consider the ten year-old Filipino kid who possibly made the socks you bought at three am from WalMart — a labor violation in THIS country as well as a human rights issue, but let’s take it one step at a time here, shall we?) This new reality hits us in the wallet in the sneakiest of ways, too. You might believe a company like FedEx would be incapable of sending American jobs outside their scope of delivery, but you’d be forgetting the small details, which add up to large problems for all of us. For instance, FedEx would rather let the cheap Airbus brand bank off of US delivery dollars than put that cash back into its own economy by boosting up more orders from American based Boeing.

We are getting what we paid for now. Those unbelievably low prices are costing us our jobs.

colleencrosby

Colleen Crosby as Rosie the Riveter (http://www.project-insomnia.com/colleen/Rosie/rosie.html)

How are we going to fix this mess? I still think unionization isn’t a bad thing in principle. In fact, I have seen it work for me much more than I haven’t. Good unions create a system of checks and balances. However, it’s time for them to really step up their game. Seriously. All of them. Locals need to quit behaving like every day is election day and focus once again on maintaining regular progress for  American labor as a whole. Members must abandon entitlement and remember they’re paying for a cause and a contract, not a birth right. Additionally, there are so many ridiculous, legal stipulations for organizing that workers have their hands tied unless there are good programs with proper funding. It’s all possible, but the movement desperately needs some real labor messiahs to lead it in the right direction — brainiacs who care about the future of workers in this nation, who understand tactics beyond the paint thinner and tire slashing stereotypes as well as how to regain public trust intelligently.

FedEx employees have been targeted for unionization for quite some time, and its employees really need to start paying attention now to the impending FUBAR situation. After having read many of the comments on the official FedEx threads, I felt such sadness for their plight. They’re warned not to associate with unions because “all unions want are their money.” Well, duh. Unions want you to pay dues, yes, because people shouldn’t have to work for free. I know how that goes; I paid dues simultaneously to two different unions at one point. One contract was terrible and not enforced properly by the world’s worst agent. The other was beyond amazing. I was happy to dole out dues to both, though, because even in the worse case scenario I was getting a better deal than most. What are you paying for? The negotiation of your future. Your insurance benefits. Your pension. Your raises and rates. Your vacation and option time. Mandated progressive disciplinary programs. Representation. Healthy and non-violent work environment. If that’s not enough, what do you want?

FedEx folks and others have also been frightened by their companies’ claims of corruption within the unions. Oh, THAT again. Thanks, Hollywood. Of course, there’s gonna be corruption. It’s everywhere: churches, school boards, city councils, the Girlscouts, charity groups, tax-evading Joe the Plummers, the Democrats, the Republicans, and so on. I can’t think of anything that could escape potential misconduct without proper effort and enforcement. Members get the leadership they elect. Corruption is a by-product of apathy. If unions weren’t such a huge threat to the wallets of corporate executives, they wouldn’t be regulated as heavily as the pharmaceutical industry. When you get down to it, corruption is not fueled by some guy wanting to fight for the right to leave his work station to use the toilet without fear of being fired. Really.

The bad guys are the ones who want to outsource and offshore labor. They’re not the ones who have to take a five percent cut in pay while their boss makes 32 million dollars. Union evil isn’t the root of corporate failure. Corporate failure is the root of corporate failure. (Read: Don’t blame bailouts on the UAW. Auto workers have been wailing about financial mismanagement for decades.)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a labor activist and a most decent man. He died fighting for fair labor. In fact, he was attending a sanitation workers’ rally for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters when he was assassinated. I don’t think a lot of people my age realize it now, but this was King’s biggest plight. He knew safe working conditions, equal rights and equal pay were what people needed in order to help strengthen the core of this nation. And he was right, wasn’t he? Eh, FedEx, et al,  listen and learn from history, will you? As with anything else, left unattended labor will wax and wane. With your help along with that from others, we could really cultivate King’s garden and make fruit of this economic madness. Finally.

“Well, at least I have a job.”

Dr. King, can you hear our people now?

27 thoughts on “FedEx and the Real Price of Those Socks You Bought at WalMart

  1. “For instance, FedEx would rather let the cheap Airbus brand bank off of US delivery dollars than put that cash back into its own economy by boosting up orders from American based Boeing. ”

    So I guess that the new BOEING 777F’s FedEx is buying built in Seattle Wand the BOEING MD-11′s and MD-10′s were not built by McDonald Douglas in Longbeach, CA, US? FedEx has the largest fleet of MD-11′s and MD-10′s in the world. Not to mention the largest fleet of BOEING 727′s.

    FedEx bought Airbus aircraft because they do the job well and are profitable to operate. Which now that you mention it, Airbus aircraft are built using lots of US made parts and systems.

    Get your facts straight. Just because you say it doesn’t make it true.

  2. Thanks for reading, Hunter. It seems we agree then: FedEx is ordering from Airbus. The quote seems slanted. That said:

    *CORRECTION* “For instance, FedEx would rather let the cheap Airbus brand bank off of US delivery dollars than put that cash back into its own economy by boosting up MORE orders from American based Boeing.”

    That’s better. Thank you for pointing that out.

  3. You, my dear, are a rockstar for blogging this. Thank you.

    The fex-ed deal is being paralleled in medicine with terrifying results. Most hospitals and all Nursing homes are not safe, due to staffing ratios. Here is an article about a Boston Hospital that is doing the exact same thing, complete with same PR, to the applause of many! Its simply reprehensible.
    All of you who don’t know what is going on in health care. BE AFRAID

    http://allnurses.com/nursing-news/avoid-hospital-layoffs-377264.html

  4. I’ll go one step further: What is going on in hospitals and healthcare across the board is FAR worse than my Fred Smith scenario.

    Thanks for mentioning it. People need to understand this is a CRISIS which affects nurses, doctors, lawyers, police officers, teachers, etc., as well as “unskilled” laborers.

    :)

  5. Well, Ms Thing,

    Your site is is great, however I noticed you some how missed mentioning the “Big Brown” and what they can do for you. Isnt that their catchy phrase of the decade?

    With paycuts, hours cut, shifts that are no longer needed some how the catchy little phrase doesnt seem to be working any more. Big Brown isn’t doing anything for YOU, Me, or any one else that doesnt have the catchy little tittle CEO or ….. (I’ll be nice)UPS ( UPS – news – people ) earnings in the January-March period fell more than 55 percent to $401 million as revenue dropped more than 13 percent, compared to profit of $906 million a year ago.

    Is the only words that are being seen are “dropped” and “fell” ?? SHAME, SHAME on any one company that can net profits such as these and still say times are tough. Yeah, they are tough alright, I can’t decide on whether to feed my children Walmart brand of Mac a roni and cheese or splurge and spend that extra 25 cents and go for the good stuff… Kraft. Hmmmm I bet Mr. Smith and Mr. Kuehn got the good stuff huh?

    Wow, I’m really glad I have a job. Next week I wonder if they will let me even clock in once I get there or if thats just too many hours.

  6. I thought about mentioning Brown in contrast. It’s true; we’re all taking a hit, which is why I’m tired of watching people like Fred Smith gloat about his pay cut — equivalent to what a lot of people in this industry scramble a decade to earn.

    The thing about Brown is that you have a contract. You may or may not like it, but you do. And things would be for the worse if everything was left to the discretion of a CEO and his cronies only. The company knows this and, unlike FedEx, isn’t willing to arrogantly commit labor violations that could lead to worsening its economic “woe”. Um, generally. !!! There is no negotiation with FedEx. Your future is at the whim of the elite few there.

    I’ll file for you anytime, Lady. xo

  7. I know you would I am grateful. Grateful that I do have a union. I truly am thankful that “Big Brown” is there. However, I am not so blind to the fact that if it wasn’t for my union (I know you’ve seen me wear my shirt!!!) “Big Brown” would have had no problem showing Tina where the guard shack is. Or rather the closest exit sign. I doubt very much I would get a farewell dinner either.

  8. Kristan, you might benefit from living a little longer and broadening your horizons. With all of your wealth bashing, I’d say you are a socialistic Marxist, who hasn’t even noticed that Russia’s struggle to embrace and implement capitalism is because decades of the socialist mindset crippled their ability to think, innovate, and work. No doubt, the wealthy do generate more wealth for themselves. But, they also generate jobs for others. Fortunately, in the U.S., you have the right and opportunity to become wealthy and do the same for others. Instead of bashing the Fred Smiths of the world, why don’t you try following in their footsteps and see if you can do a better job.

    Those of us who choose to work for others may do a little complaining about our jobs and our circumstances. However, those who find it intolerable to the point of disgust have the option to start their own business and grow it as much as they choose to. Otherwise, you need to keep things in perspective and remember that you are not the center of the universe. Perhaps your creative energies would be benefit the rest of us even more if you would shift your focus to political corruption. Political corruptions steals from EVERYONE!

  9. Thanks for joining the party, RA. Tell me, exactly how long is it that I have to live before my observations are valid, Mom? ;)

    “When the world’s two great propaganda systems agree on some doctrine, it requires some intellectual effort to escape its shackles. One such doctrine is that the society created by Lenin and Trotsky and molded further by Stalin and his successors has some relation to socialism in some meaningful or historically accurate sense of this concept. In fact, if there is a relation, it is the relation of contradiction.” [Chomsky] That said, you’re confusing communism with socialism (or I’ve misunderstood your point).

    I don’t believe socialism is realistic for our economy or society. My commentary clearly suggested unionism is still valid for American workers. I also said Fred Smith deserved his salary, but I pointed out what a swarmy thing he did by publicly making himself seem like the second coming of Jesus Christ in front of his workforce. Do I think he’s the devil? Of course not.

    “Instead of bashing the Fred Smiths of the world, why don’t you try following in their footsteps and see if you can do a better job.” There is one Fred Smith. I profiled him because he’s the corporate equivalent of an NFL running back who ALWAYS has to take his helmet off after each play (while everybody else sits around rolling their eyes).

    I think with the recent bank and auto hand-outs, we’ve seen how corporate mismanagement and corruption has affected us all — and severely. No doubt about it: Political corruption DOES affect us all, but I believe the two are often very intertwined. Like I said, corruption is everywhere.

    “Otherwise, you need to keep things in perspective and remember that you are not the center of the universe.” Ok, I’ll change my mantra. Bless you, Anonymous Person.

  10. Kristan,

    As usual, my friend, you do not disappoint in terms of both style and logic. Great, great piece.

    I’d disagree only slightly with an implication you made regarding unions “stepping up.” Fact is that most unions are desperately trying to organize workers but are facing the same intransigent anti-worker system which has stymied worker freedom for at least the past 25 years (and I’d argue for much longer than that). While some might point to a slowdown in organizing efforts owing to unions shifting resources to fight for EFCA, the reality is that one would be hard-pressed to fault unions for trying to correct an almost entirely slanted system – especially considering it’s that very system which makes organizing a nearly impossible task.

    Granted, any organization could always be better than it is; that’s true of all the organizations you mentioned in your piece, and it’s of course true of unions as well. But I almost always bristle when I hear the notion that unions aren’t trying, aren’t attempting to modernize their organizing apparatuses, or are somehow behind the curve when it comes to their approach to modern-day organizing. Could they be better? Of course. But I think they’ve taken some pretty serious steps towards reversing the trend – something for which they deserve credit – and, unfortunately, are discovering the real-world implication of Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” maxim: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” That is, even the most innovative organizing efforts can and often are squelched by those without compunction of breaking labor law.

    And with respect to union representational efforts I’d submit they’re doing a far better job of that as well, sans perhaps SEIU. But just as there will probably always be that one bad priest, that one racist police officer, and/or that one criminal CEO, there will probably always be that one bad local which, by associative dint, gives the rest of us a bad name. But considering the ever-declining numbers of ULPs filed against unions I’d argue that unions are improving their representational abilities; it’s illogical to think the complaints against them would drop if they weren’t “stepping up.”

    We’ve got an extremely tough row to hoe: Organizing workers takes vast resources, yet even the most well-directed resources are still up against a labyrinth of labor law – both legislative and judicial – which has the net effect of blocking most efforts. EFCA clearly stands almost zero chance of passing – evidently legislation now requires 60 votes thanks to the “Party of No” – so the legal status quo seems as unavoidable as it is tragic.

    Thankfully, though, unions do seem to have discovered – albeit very late in the game – that traditional organizing no longer works, and that strategic campaigns can sometimes win even in this hostile environment. They’re not quite yet where they need to be eventually, but most of ‘em have dramatically altered their approach and are seeing small but promising gains.

    Anyhow, thanks for directing me to this piece. Again, it was a great read, and I’m sure happy and proud to have you on our side.

  11. Great Article. You hit the nail on the head!!

    The FedEx people have been drinking the purple kool-aid for years. The company was once a great place to work with great benefits. The FedEx people seem to like to hold on to the past.

    My perception is that the FedEx people have a genuine belief that things will return to normal. The FedEx employees have accepted low pay and benefits. This will now be the normal pay. Things will not go back to the way they used to be. Ever. End of Story!

    But this will make Fred Smith, “American hero”, even more rich!! The FedEx people seem to love to see him succeed, no matter what the cost is to them. There is even a Facebook page “Fred Smith For President” – what a joke.

    Thanks again for this article.

  12. Jim: [clapping] I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Sincerely.

    I have at least nine other paragraphs rattling around in my noggin, Jim (Vegas), but I’ll just leave it at this for now: When is the soonest you can be here? I know an organizer who could use your assistance as a volunteer. ;)

    Face time or no face time, you’re one of my favorite Teamsters.

    Jimmy H: FedEx is a dysfunctional family at best because there is no Brotherhood. I wish the very best for FedEx employees, naturally (and especially since UPS ships so much of their volume), but the time has arrived for them to quit listening to Fred Smith’s weird, Orwellian pep talks and accept some help.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  13. “FedEx is a dysfunctional family at best because there is no Brotherhood. I wish the very best for FedEx employees, naturally (and especially since UPS ships so much of their volume), but the time has arrived for them to quit listening to Fred Smith’s weird, Orwellian pep talks and accept some help.”

    In short, you have no idea what your talking about.

    I don’t want or need your help. Fred Smith did not create this recession. Unionizing a work force won’t fix it either. Having worked for both companies, I can tell you there isn’t any brotherhood at Brown. Unions take a simplistic view of economics, business and corporations. All the union did for me was take my dues and make half-ass promises and ridicule anyone and everything but the union. The biggest mistake UPS made was not breaking the union during the last strike. I also observed first hand the IAM, International Brotherhood of Machinists destroy an airline that I worked for.

    “(and especially since UPS ships so much of their volume),” Huh, this makes no sense. What does this mean? Haven’t seen any UPS aircraft or trucks at FedEx hubs or terminals.

    Maybe your idea of utopia is a unionized work force and a socialist government like France, Italy and other EU countries. Maybe we can unionize the Army like Belgium. What a mess! I think it stinks, just like your comments that show you have no idea about what you talking about.

  14. “Huh, this makes no sense. What does this mean? Haven’t seen any UPS aircraft or trucks at FedEx hubs or terminals.”

    We transport so much of your volume, it’s insane. We also carry TONS of USPS, etc. You may not realize the inner trappings of your operation if you think FedEx doesn’t utilize competition in order to meet logistics. ;) And, naturally, you wouldn’t see UPS trucks or aircraft at your hub. If you had a union, the practice would potentially be frowned upon as excessive subcontracting.

    “Maybe your idea of utopia is a unionized work force and a socialist government…”

    My idea of Utopia is a world in which unions are unnecessary. Unfortunately, we do not live in that world. (Not sure how that translates into socialism for you since Teamsters negotiate within capitalist economies….?)

    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond regardless of your position on this issue, John.

  15. I’ve been a courier at Fedex Express for 6 years and we desperately need union representation. Here’s why, we get no respect on the job, we make $10-$15 dollars an hr less than UPS drivers, our pension has been frozen, our healthcare coverage costs go up each year while coverage goes down. I currently make $15.29 per hr and the UPS driver on my route makes almost $30 per hr. My question is in what other industry is there this much pay difference between competing companies? These examples i’ve given are the reason Fedex fights so hard to keep us under the Railway labor act. Fedex knows that if congress properly places under the National Labor Relations Act (the same law that governs our only competitor UPS) they’ll be forced to pay us fairly.

  16. Thanks for bringing up your benefits, amongst other things, C.S. My current contract includes not only full time, but also part time benefits. Premiums? Nope, I pay none. Co-pay for visits? Ten bucks. In all the years I have worked for my organized company, I’ve never paid for any dental services, in fact. Last year, my kid went to a swank, top-of-the-line optometrist, and the bill was over 500 bucks for her eyeglasses. I was shocked. My share? $50, but ONLY because we went over our frame allowance by that amount.

    Would I receive these benefits without my union? Of course not. That’s one of the many reasons I don’t mind paying dues — a miniscule fee compared to what I’d be shelling out to an insurance carrier otherwise.

    Seek out a Teamster organizer, if you haven’t already, for advice. You are not alone: http://org.teamster.org/10steps.htm

    Keep your chin up. :)

  17. TANSTAAFL There ain’t not such thing as a free lunch.

    So who pays for the insurance, the glasses and the dentist? Are they “free” because you don’t have to pay for them? The “company” does. Right

    Nonsense, your paying for these benefits every day you go to work. Your employer, UPS has the highest rates of injuries reported to OSHA of all employers for hands, knees, backs etc. Why? Work rules concerning the weight of packages that one employee can lift. The number of stops per hour package car drivers are required to make. I have seen too many UPS employees that have chronic back, knee, wrist, elbow and hand conditions by the time they are 45.

    Don’t kid yourself, the Teamsters are NOT helping you.

    http://pupsinc.homestead.com/big_brown_lie_UPS_FACT_SHEET.htm

  18. Please, everybody click on Hunter’s link. S/He’s made an excellent argument FOR unionization. Why would anyone choose to work for a company with such an unsafe work record WITHOUT representation? (Disclaimer: the site is full of outdated and/or incorrect info and is linked to a landing page for a website which is not a news or unbiased data network, but, rather, an anti-UPS group. Not a doctor, but it plays one on TV!)

    Thanks, H. You’re a trooper.

  19. Citing a website called “The Big Brown Lie” is like using Anna Nicole Smith as an expert on anything, assuming she was still alive… you get my point.

  20. It’s pretty clear in my previous post on what a union can do for workers. I don’t know any other way I can spell it out. What kind of idiot would rather work for my wages, benefits, and working conditions than UPS? I mean c’mon it should be common sense, but non union people will always try to spin that working for $15 per hr is better than working for $30 per hr. The bad thing is that some workers with low self esteem and no self confidence buy into this garbage.Heck, Fred could probably even convince some to work for free.

  21. All this tit for tat is interesting but moot. Initially there was a great need for the unions, the battle was a long one that took a great toll in lives and productivity. Ever read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”? Teddy Roosevelt did, was agast at the all for greed of the manufacturers and created (gasp) a federal agency to be a watchdog… And the FDA worked pretty good for a while until it too was corrupted and diluted by our very own politicians who have been bribed and lobbied by the ever growing self serving greedy fat cats who continue to cry for even more tax cuts while their employees pay double the tax percentage as do they.

    Benefits? We know who gets them…the very poor and the fat cats. Who has a world class health care system and retirement? Not the veterans who risked their lives The politicians and their greedy corporate higher ups walk away with their (and yous/mine) share. We let them, in fact we help them by not requiring higher standards.

    Unions may not do all things for all people, some out there would not have their jobs were it not for the unions not to mention benefits. I know that historically the unions have been rift with corruption, that was by member consent as well. Do we detect a pattern here?
    This all reminds me of the minister in Nazi Germany who stood silent as the intellectuals, the teachers, the mentally defective, the gypsies , the homosexuals and the Jews were removed to the concentration camps…and there was no one left to stand up for him when he was taken.
    You carry the analogy further and realize that the unions are taking the hard stand …
    When I was younger and full of “I can save the world” I laughed at my grandfather who was a staunch union member …what did he know? The unions’ time had come and gone, they were old fashioned and not needed in these progressive times… I am older and wiser now and understand that Granddad was right, We do need someone/thing watching the chicken coop as we go about our business. They may need updating and retooling but they are still beneficial to the common man i.e. you and me.

  22. Kristan,

    The earliest I can be in Texas? Hmm. If it were up to me it’d be tomorrow. Alas how I spend my time is rarely my own decision (brow furrowing as the realization of the blunt truth behind that statement sets in). I’ll email you privately if I’m scheduled for anything in Texas in the near term …

    If your organizer friend needs rapid assistance (advice, strategic research, etc.) tell him/her to email me. I’d be happy to help.

  23. VegasJim is right, especially about the comment he made in respect to that “old school” organizing that just doesn’t work anymore. Strategic campaigns are working; they are making small yet significant strides. For once in a long time unions are growing again – even in these horrible economic times. Unions overall are grasping the successful concept of strategic organizing and it’s a great thing. Here is the problem. Obama just took over office and things are already changing for the better but for us little people down at the bottom that change in our broken labor system has yet to make its way down to us. It’s the same concept with unions. Although as a whole unions are recognizing and using the new strategic way to organize workers, sometimes these methods fail to make their way down to the locals. These problems along with then having to get past some of these closed minded, paranoid, backwards, old school elected local union leaders who refuse to grow their members for fear of getting booted out of their comfortable spots, it’s clear that there is still a ton of work to do. Those of us who are lucky enough to pay dues need to share the good news about our rights and guarantees being printed in a little book called a legal and binding contract with those who aren’t so lucky yet but very well could be if they truly want and are willing to work for it. We need to help speed up these things that are in the works by volunteering some of our free time (which is also negotiated in our contract) so that these new and improved changes make their way down to us all sooner than later. Tell your organizer friend that I’m ready and willing to volunteer as I hope that many more of us union members will be too.

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