Hope for FedEX workers
By Steve Hunt at Dec 31, 2008
My New Years Resolution that I must fulfill in a few days is to write a sensible letter to the CEO of the company I work for (FedEX, I have a route in NW Oklahoma City) requesting they give us our 401k match back which they announced suspension of for '09 (begining in February) on 12-23 during the quarterly report. Apparently this announcement was made right before Christmas when we were all working our proverbial butts off to try and prevent a big drop in the stock as well as save some cash in the coming year.
I will request that the amount they save by taking it away in '09 (approx $200m) is almost equal to our stocks pathetic dividend yield (0.69 as we speak) which pays out around $150m to shareholders over a years time.
If a shareholder owns 1,000 shares then they will receive $440 in a years time in dividend, and if they own that much chances are they're fairly wealthy and will not put the $440 they are paid back into the real economy. Many reputable economists as well as Alan Greenspan have stated with regards to the wealthy that only 20% goes to purchasing goods and other real economy things whereas when working class people receive such funds almost all of it goes to such things (from Norton Garfinkel's "American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth").
So suspend the dividend, give the workers back their 401k match and as is usually suspected (but not my favorite thing) begin a PR campaign showing how much FedEX cares for it's workers. In times like this, people would love this sort of thing, as will the fancy PR firms assigned to this task who will for once be able to match image with reality.
If this does not happen, FedEX's 1/4 of a million employees will be putting more of their income to savings, not into the real economy where it is needed which isn't good for things right now. If the match is returned, then the savings is taken care of (in part) and more of the employees wages can be spent on goods and services. This would no doubt make the FedEX stock rise and everyone wins except the people who bought puts on the stock when Fred Smith announced he was taking away the 401k match.
What better time than now to do something like this?
Me pretending to have a bad day at work. Honestly, its not a bad job and we are treated fairly well. But we could and should be treated better, as is the case with almost all working people.