Worker’s Correspondence: Fedex Pushes Higher Productivity Amid Layoffs

By Arthur Boukman and Nélida Tello

Tribune of the People spoke to two FedEx Ground package handlers, one worker is from South Windsor, Connecticut and the second is from Austin, Texas. Both spoke on the firing practices and work speedups carried out by Fedex.

Layoffs have targeted workers who missed work during peak season, and in an effort to increase profit, workers have been laid off and less workers are scheduled during each shift. The understaffed workers are expected to work longer shifts and process even more packages than what was being processed during peak season.

The worker from South Windsor told Tribune that a majority of package handlers are only hired as part time workers and are expected to work past the end of their shifts without extra pay, until all shift duties are completed. This has resulted in many deciding to leave the job mid-shift or simply not reporting to work.

In Austin, workers’ hours have been cut since peak season despite processing a higher volume of packages, with a majority of package handlers working between 20 to 25 hours a week.

Worker productivity is measured through scans and is increased by reducing the number of people on belts. Workers are expected to process 150-180 packages per hour, an objective that is difficult to meet with fewer and fewer workers on the belts. The work speedups and mass layoffs have resulted in more workers walking off the job.

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