FedEX fires woman with cancer

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by yeroen, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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  2. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #2
    wow...just wow.


    Lost a lot of respect for Fedex....for this, and their general policy with their drivers(which is talks about in the article)

    I knew UPS treated their driver well....but I had no idea Fedex was the opposite.


    Sad, more big corps taking advantage of the working class
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    I just lost ALL of it.

    If someone comes into this thread and doesn't actually read the posts, or the story itself, I hope they still see this one message:


    PLEASE DO NOT USE FedEX
     
  4. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

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    #4
    the levels some companies will go to to make a quick buck. have to say, fedex really do suck. you can bet your ass if the CEO got cancer he'd have the best care there is and a job when he beat it. So much for looking after the ones who actually make the company money...
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #5
    Wow. FedEx just slid past Wal-Mart on the sleaze scale.


    Lethal
     
  6. PMB macrumors 65816

    PMB

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    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

    and they both are pretty far down.....
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    FedEx is the new Gap, or Nike. :eek: They're both off my list of places I'll shop, and while I have never used FedEx (I don't think we get FedEx here), I guess I'll avoid Ebay auctions that say their item will be delivered by FedEx. I don't really know how I'll avoid them. I'm just brainstorming.
     
  8. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #8
    that's brutal.

    if i can avoid using their services, I will.
     
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #9
    @ the article:

    Patagonia sounds like a really cool place to work. And it was funny to see the UPS ads on the page.

    What's wrong with them? I mean they use sweatshops to make their clothes, but so does everyone else.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #10
    I think the situation is sad, but at the same time, I feel like I have to provide a (somewhat socialist) counterpoint.

    This is a larger issue with the safety net for self-employed or contract individuals at all companies at all levels, that really ought to be addressed at least in part by the government and not by individual companies in a piecemeal fashion. FedEx complied with the law. Would I like to see them go above the law? Yes. But we cannot hope that all Americans like this woman are to be kept safe purely by expecting companies to routinely go beyond the requirement of the law. There are many more women and men just like her out there who go through the same thing on a daily basis. There needs to be a fix for all of them.

    If this woman had been a white collar freelance agent, contract worker, consultant, self-employed businesswoman, etc, the same thing would have happened to her. Of course, many white collar workers have savings and affluent members of their social support network that can stretch them through hard times with less strain than many blue collar workers. However, treating cancer is expensive, even solely in terms of costs outside those covered by insurance or medicare. Perhaps the richest <1% of the American population are wealthy enough to deal with a situation like this without outside support, but even most white collar / professionals are not able to do so.

    Whether her situation is considered through the lens of disability insurance (which doesn't move fast enough to deal with the acute transitions from complete employability to significant disability that accompany many emergent health problems) or another mechanism, there really needs to be a consistent support network for people who become temporarily disabled by health problems. There are too many people in this situation who don't get NYT coverage to simplify the matter and just blame FedEx.
     
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #11
    That must be the equivalent of dividing by zero. :mad:
     
  12. kfordham281 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Wow.....that stuff about being an "independent contractor" sounds like a load of crap.
     
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #13
    I think that has yet to be determined by the lawsuit(s).
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #14
    Fair point. But I think my general point, that this kind of issue affects many people in the US who work on contract or freelance basis for many different companies, still stands.... It's unlikely that every case of contract or freelance work is a violation of US law.
     
  15. BlackThunder macrumors member

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    #15
    Thanks for posting.

    When I bought Leopard I preordered online and it was to be shipped the day it came out.

    FedEx came to my house... didn't ring or knock... and didn't even leave the package. I had to go all the way to the FedEx place to pick it up.

    And then they fired a woman with cancer....

    I'm not using them anymore.
     
  16. maxrobertson macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    What is wrong with you? That type of thinking is inexcusable.

    I think Mkrishnan makes a good point, not that what FedEx did was right, but that we need to have benefits for independent freelancers/contracters. However, this situation is a little different because these people are basically employees, just without the benefits of being a real employee. They're pretty much going around the law at the expense of the people who are their backbone. This needs to be stopped or we are in for some serious trouble.
     
  17. -Alan- macrumors member

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    #17
    Wow, I had no idea FedEx ran their company like that. UPS drives their employees hard but they don't game the system. What FedEx does is just wrong.
     
  18. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #18
    Welcome to big business. Nearly everyone below board level is replaceable.
     
  19. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #19
    I think most people know that big corporations like this are heartless monsters...we show our out rage, and won't sit back idle with the status quo
     
  20. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Fed-ex is breaking the law...

    Fedex is full of sh-t. Those drivers are not independent contractors; they're employees. Classifying them as independent contractors is against IRS regulations. It's an illegal tax dodge and the IRS will eventually win this fight. When they do, despite my distaste for the IRS, I'll quite enjoy seeing Fedex get theirs.
     
  21. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #21
    Yeah, but funny thing is, without the IRS we wouldn't have this problem in the first place.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #22
    That part does distress me, but I think it's much more of a standard practice than you may realize... when I was in the automotive industry, contract engineering positions were becoming more and more common. They'd become quite common in the aerospace industry years ago, AFAIK. Those situations are slightly different, because typically those individuals' contracts work through an agency and they still get benefits and things, through the agency, but they do not through the end employer, and, as many of you observe, they perform identically and indistinguishably from "hired in" employees.

    For those of you who said they believe this is clearly against US labor laws, can you provide any source that backs this claim up?
     
  23. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

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    #23
    What in the world are you going to achieve by avoiding something? I am hoping FedEx gets sued pretty big and they lose. Am I going to avoid FedEx? No. That doesn't achieve anything. In fact, these independent drivers lose out on money if you don't use FedEx. Duh.
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #24
    I am assuming that the sweatshops are well run, and the employees get a living wage in the country they are living in, and that local environmental and employment law is followed.

    Now I know that that isn't always the case, but that is a problem with the companies, not the concept itself. I mean if you follow the following made up example. If Nike makes shoes in Vietnam and pays the staff $200/month (which is an very good wage in Vietnam). Then if they work 8 hours/day 5 days a week, they work 22 days or 176 hours a month.

    Now lets also say that each pair of trainers take 1 hour to make (this is a total guess) a shoe, then the employee is being paid only $1.14/shoe or $2.25 a pair. Now those shoes may sell in London for £50 ($100) which seems like an insane markup, but in fact the Vietnamese shoe manufacturer is doing well for himself.

    EDIT to add: Vietnam officially has a 2% unemployment rate, and that is met with the apparent situation on the ground (we saw less beggars in two weeks than an average night out in Oxford. People trying to sell you stuff, not so much but they have a "job".), so the employees in Nike's factories there are probably fairly well treated.

    However to counteract that I have read reliable reports by an aid charity saying that the employees of Banana Republic (Gap, the posh version) factories in India, and Banana Republic send people round to the factories, and the people there lie and say they do no overtime and are well treated as they know that otherwise they'll lose their jobs. (source) Also they only earn $50/month, which certainly in Vietnam wouldn't be a living wage.

    Now Gap could setup their own factories, but that is hard if they don't have any expertise in running a company in the country (so the setup would be very expensive) and they'd also have to make sure the management didn't behave in the same way as these sub-contractors which would probably be almost as hard as getting the sub-contractors to behave. To me it looks like this problem has no easy answers, I'd love to know how to solve them and improve the situation, but its difficult.

    Of course the more investment that occurs, the richer the countries being invested in will become and the easier it will be for them to setup appropriate protections for their people so they can report these problems and the businesses in question can be fined and made to come into line, but even in the UK, we aren't really good enough at this. Now this is the easy route, and hopefully we can do better than that, but its not easy.

    You also can't completely boycott sweatshops, practically everything you buy from clothes to iPods is made in a similar environment with similar problems.

    Boycotting Fedex is the only effective way to bring change on this, the other couriers (UPS) treat their employees much better, so the problem has an easy solution. Additionally the US should have the appropriate protections in place for FedEx's employees if they lose their jobs, unlike Vietnam and India they can afford to. As an additional benefit to you if the courier likes their job they are less likely to drop or otherwise damage your parcel ;).

    Also if FedEx gets sued, I don't imagine they won't pass that cost onto their employees ;).
     
  25. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #25
    x2.

    Funny, but FedEx is more likely to deliver packages in better condition than UPS does in my experience. YMMV
     

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