Monday, November 28, 2005

BusinessWeek: The Ground War At FedEx

Drivers are Suing to Protest Their Status as Contractors— and Gaining Traction

Back in 1996, when Roy Mason landed work as a delivery driver with Roadway Package System Inc., he liked the idea of being an independent contractor, instead of an employee. Although he drove exclusively for RPS out of its Arcadia (Calif.) terminal, Mason felt the company gave him wide latitude to manage his routes.
Two years later, FedEx Corp. acquired RPS, and Mason says that's when things changed. He says a new management team set out strict rules dictating everything from how he dresses to how he holds his truck keys as he approaches a customer's door. And the company imposes fines on drivers who don't meet its strict standards. A few weeks ago, Mason says, managers shadowed him on his route, then slapped him with a citation for leaving his truck door open as he sprinted to drop off a package on a customer's front porch. "They are absolutely controlling everything I do," says Mason, 49. Full story here.......

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