I have to vent!!

habubuaza

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Nov 28, 2001
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I just have to let you guys know what is going on and what has happened in some segments of this industry. In particular cargo. I have been absolutely incensed since Sunday night during the Super Bowl at the airing of the FedEx commercial. Let me explain to you why:

I had been working since 1998 for a small airline who's business was predominantly the operation of 727 freighters subcontracted to haul priority mail for the USPS. This was a 10 year contract that was awarded in 1994 to Emery Worldwide Airlines and subed out to various other carriers on behalf of Emery. I worked for one of those carriers. This was called A-NET. It was an operation geared to provide overnight priority package delivery and to compete with entities such as FedEx and UPS Next Day Air and various other operations. The USPS has always maintained an advantage being a pseudo government entity they were exempt from various segments of regulation including most corporate tax laws. That resulted in billions of dollars of operational advantage, not to mention their lock down of the US mail service. (Just a little side note on the ANET Emery along with several other carriers needed to sue the post office for this because it was proven that bribes were accepted for a previous award of that contract which resulted in at least one USPS official doing jail time) OK Back to the future. The USPS after meeting secretly for sometime with FedEx officials announced in 2000 that the ANET contract will be canceled 2 1/2 years early and given to FedEx. For the pilots certain furlough and unemployment. Now in the interest of not boring you guys to death let me summarize the particulars of this contract between the USPS and FedEx.

FedEx was awarded the largest contract ever awarded by the USPS in it's entire history. This is a 7 year 6.3 BILLION DOLLAR contract.

OK.

FedEx was awarded this contract without it ever being put out for bid, again the first time the USPS has done this in their history.

FedEx is a single source provider meaning that there are no other airlines doing this, meaning that if FedEx has a problem and their planes don't move the USPS next day priority is stuck with no alternative. They are currently trying to get FedEx to do more of their package movement including most mail and 2nd day priority and the sort.

The USPS advanced FedEx $100,000,000.00 last year for them to pay for the logistics involved in hiring additional crew members.

The USPS has owed the pilot's that flew the ANET so successfully prior to FedEx being given the contract back wages for pay increases agreed to in contract ever since 1996 and has stalled and delayed a very modest if that, increase. Prior to FedEx if airlines who flew priority mail fell below 96% on time they would be fined. Bonus's above 98%. 98% on time was a norm. FedEx can barely maintain 60% because they give priority to their own packages.

Post master General Henderson was the mastermind behind this and was subsequently given a seat on FedEx's board of directors. This was anticipated in a story broken about a year ago by the WSJ.

I along with many of my brother's and sisters under representation by ALPA was furloughed on August 27th 2001 at the termination of the USPS contract. (By the way ALPA took a hands off approach to the situation regarding the back wages and the shady FedEx USPS deal.) ALPA had been trying to court FedEx pilot's back into the union anyway so they really had no interest in helping the little guy.

Now again back to the future.
9/11. I along with others in my industry are definately facing uncertain futures regarding our employment and careers. The airline industry is now in limbo and are agressively pursuing a 15 Billion dollar federal bailout. 5 Billion in cash, 10 Billion in loan guarantees.
OK.
As luck would have it I turn on the television after 9/11 and looking at CSPAN who do I see? Fred Smith. CEO of FedEx telling a congressional committee why it's so necessary to get federal money after 9/11. He was explaining about airline cost's and RPMS and the whole nine yards he was very effective. I was pissed. How dare he show his face, and why the hell didn't someone ask him about the FedEx USPS deal? Don't know. Perhaps it has something to do with FedEx being one of the most connected corporations from the Washington standpoint and one of the largest campaign contributor's to the 2000 elections. I don't know. All I do know is that they are very connected in Washington.

I don't know how much FedEx ended up getting as part of the Federal Bail out. (Yes, your money and my money as tax payers) I know they got a $110,000,000.00 installment of their part but what the ultimate figure is I am not sure. There may be a web site that you can go to and find out the exact figure. Perhaps one of you may help out with that.

Now with all that information in hand. Why isn't anybody as offended and livid as I am that they (Govt) would burn our tax dollars in such a blatant manner that would allow FedEx to display the size of their cojones and air a commercial during one of the most expensive times one can air a commercial; DURING A SUPER BOWL!!! You guys have no idea how I feel. I just wish that someone with some clout could at least educate a portion of the public as to what really happened. Maybe it's just an uphill battle, but I thought I'd let you guys know.
 
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