Friday, November 30, 2007

Teamsters Applaud California Supreme Court Ruling Against FedEx Ground

209 FedEx Ground Drivers to Receive Share of $11 Million Settlement

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa commended the California Supreme Court for denying FedEx Corp.’s final appeal of lower court rulings determining that FedEx Ground’s independent contractors are direct employees.

“Thanks to the California Supreme Court, FedEx is going to have to compensate these drivers for exploiting them for so many years under its bogus independent contractor model,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “FedEx’s illegal model has been exposed and drivers across the country are standing up for their rights and proper compensation.”
In August, the California Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that the drivers are employees and not independent contractors. FedEx, in an attempt to limit future liabilities, responded in California by firing the drivers who were affected by the court decisions.

The 209 workers will receive a share of more than $11 million in repayments for expenses related to gas and insurance directly related to the execution of their jobs. In addition to the California case, 150 FedEx Ground workers in South Bend, Indiana, are also challenging the company classifying them as independent contractors. A federal judge certified the class-action lawsuit in October that claims the company denied the drivers benefits and proper wages.

“It’s game over for FedEx and its independent contractor scam,” Hoffa said.

Teamsters, TMI Report 'Steady Progress' at National Freight Talks

Both Sides Exchange Contract Proposals

Teamster leaders and representatives of Trucking Management Inc. said today that National Master Freight Agreement talks are going well two days after both sides exchanged national contract proposals in Washington, D.C.

The progress this week maintains the strong momentum that has taken place since both sides announced early negotiations in late August 2007. Also, both sides made progress negotiating the supplemental agreements in October.

Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Jim Roberts, president of TMI, the primary multi-employer bargaining arm of the unionized freight trucking industry, issued the following statement:

“We are making steady progress on the non-economic issues and we hope to continue progress when negotiations resume December 5. At the current rate of progress, there is no reason that we won’t soon finish the non-economic issues and we have already had initial discussions of the economic issues. We will soon have further discussions of economic issues, including wages, pensions and health and welfare benefits. Both sides are serious about addressing the issues and we are committed to bargaining in good faith. Our goal is to negotiate a contract that will address the needs of the Teamster-represented employees and address the needs of TMI-represented companies.”

Talks continued Thursday, November 29 and will resume December 5.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Organized labor aims to rekindle its fire

Jim Kabell was frustrated and disappointed. He stood in front of a mostly empty Teamsters hall to introduce a very important speaker.

At least that's what he thought.

The agenda featured a rousing speech about the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and what working people can do about growing inequality in this country.

Kabell had been excited. It would remind people of their power to come together and make things happen.

He'd expected between 200 and 400 people to come hear Tom Woodruff, executive director of the Service Employees International Union and the organizing director of Change to Win, a new coalition of unions seeking to increase union membership and their political clout.This is what gets your blood pumping if you're a union member, Kabell thought.

But where was everybody?

Complete story........

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

DHL and The HoneyBaked Ham Company Partner to Bring the Holiday Spirit to Troops Overseas

DHL, the world’s leading express delivery and logistics company, announced a first-of-its-kind holiday delivery program with The HoneyBaked Ham Company, enabling friends, family, and loved ones to order fully-prepared, ready to enjoy holiday hams for delivery to U.S. servicemen and women serving abroad. DHL was recently chosen by HoneyBaked Foods, Inc., one of the shipping divisions of The HoneyBaked Ham Company, for an exclusive arrangement for this military base program.

Orders are being collected now for deliveries in December for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, as DHL gets ready to accept thousands of fresh hams from HoneyBaked Foods headquarters in Holland, Ohio. DHL will provide door-to-door delivery service of fresh hams from the U.S., directly to Camp Anaconda and Freedom in Iraq and U.S. military bases in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

DHL was the first international air express carrier to provide service to Iraq and Afghanistan following the lifting of sanctions and operates the most extensive logistics service into these countries. DHL announced the start of operations to Afghanistan in March 2002 and Iraq in March 2003.

“DHL was the only express carrier that had the operational flexibility, global network, and customer-focused spirit to help us overcome the challenges of getting fresh-frozen, perishable product thousands of miles away to the men and women serving our country,” stated Daniel P. Kurz, President at HoneyBaked Foods, Inc. “We’re pleased to partner with DHL to help soldiers, friends, family and loved ones send a taste of back home to U.S. troops overseas.”

HoneyBaked Foods flash freezes the hams to ensure freshness, places them each in a freezer bag which is protected in a heat-sealed insulated bag containing a reusable ice pack, and finally places them in a reusable insulated cooler and covered with a durable polyethylene film.

DHL will then collect and transport bulk containers of hams for delivery to DHL’s principal air and ground hub in Wilmington, Ohio. From there, the hams are flown to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and tendered aboard a direct flight to Bahrain. A combination of regional flights and trucking services complete the direct delivery to military bases, with the entire process from door-to-door completed in 72 hours or less.

“We’re pleased to partner with HoneyBaked Foods and help those away from home feel a little closer to their loved ones this holiday season,” said Charles Brewer, Executive Vice President of Sales for DHL. “DHL leverages its global network and customer-focused approach to bring people closer together during the holidays and all year ‘round.”

For a listing of store locations nationwide, visit To order a ham to send to troops overseas, visit and click on the American flag for the ordering information. Various sizes of The HoneyBaked Ham® are available, ranging from 7 to 16 lbs.

YRC: Skidding to Super-Cheap Territory

For some time now, John Neff, the legendary former portfolio manager at Vanguard Windsor and a member of the Barron's Roundtable has been singing the praises of YRC Worldwide, the trucking company formally known as Yellow Roadway. We joined the chorus this year, when the stock was trading at 40. Alas, the shares now fetch 17.

At the risk of causing a pile-up, Neff says he still likes YRC. And so do we.

"Earnings haven't lived up to expectations," Neff notes, though he thinks the stock "is a steal here." Surging oil prices and disappointing volume, among other culprits, have hurt the bottom line, and given today's soft economy "earnings are not going to be good this year," Neff warns. He assumes that U.S. gross domestic product will grow just 1.5%-2% next year.

Yet he thinks YRC's profits could rise to $3 a share in 2008 from this year's expected $2.30, while its shares could rally to 25-30. Based on these estimates, the stock still would trade for only eight to 10 times profits. With a stock-market value of less than $1 billion, YRC also could be an acquisition target. "It's a sitting duck," he says.

Based in Overland Park, Kan., YRC is one of the world's largest freight-transportation-service providers, with brands including Yellow Transportation, Roadway, Reimer Express, USF, New Penn Motor Express and YRC Logistics.

The company ships industrial, commercial and retail goods domestically and internationally. It operates some 100,000 tractor-trailers, 90% of which it owns, and has north of 800,000 customers.

Says CEO Bill Zollars: "People are finally waking up to the fact" that the demand for hard goods is "deteriorating" and the economy has been "challenging." But he contends that YRC stock is "a great buy, with tremendous upside" when the economy begins to rebound. That could happen by the second half of 2008. Trucking volume, however, usually picks up three to six months before the data show a recovery.