FedEx Buyouts Target Companies with 115,000 Employees

(Memphis) Memphis based FedEx announced Monday it will offer voluntary buyouts for some employees. 

There’s no word on how many employees will be offered the buyout, or how much money the company is hoping to save by doing so. 

As it relates to finances, FedEx is making money in some areas and losing in others. 

Recently, it acquired other companies and boasted expansion, but it also retired aircraft and combined operations. 

A statement from the outlook section of a recent earnings report could shed some light on Monday’s announcement, “During 2013, we will continue to evaluate actions and opportunities to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and adjust our networks to match anticipated demand.”

That statement was echoed by a spokesperson from FedEx Media Relations, Shea Leordeanu, who said the buyouts are, “another step to align costs with revenue.”

We spoke with a former employee who gave us a little insight into how the process may work. 

Edward Webb worked for FedEx for 27 years. 

He was a videographer and editor.

“It was very adventurous actually. I mean, I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do some of the assignments that I had to do,” says Webb who traveled everywhere from Alaska to Japan and Thailand, until he left in December of 2010.

“We had the opportunity to apply for another position, or take the buyout. I chose the buyout.”

Webb got 9 months worth of pay in his severance. 

He it called a sweet deal.

He’d been there for the reductions in 2009, and saw the writing on the wall.

“They were escorted off the property that day. It was kind of brutal,” said Webb. “I was in the frame of mind that I’m watching and preparing for the worst.”

Webb was employed by FedEx Services, one of the same companies being targeted in the current buyouts.

The group has 13,0000 employees nationwide and nearly 5,000 work in Tennessee. 

It includes staff such as IT, marketing and sales.

The others that will be offered buyouts work for FedEx Express. 

Express employs 102,000 workers nationwide and 23,000 are in Tennessee.  

Those that might be offered buyouts include other staffers that don’t touch packages directly, like those in engineering, accounting and HR.

Leordeanu says operational employees, officers and directors aren’t eligible for the buyout. 

International operations will not be affected either.

These days, you’ll still find Webb editing, but only when he wants to.

He does freelance work for his church and other companies.

Now 60, Webb was close enough to retirement when he took the buyout that he was also able to collect his pension, “It worked out for me.”

According to Leordeanu, company leaders are still in the process of evaluating which work groups might be offered the buyouts. 

She says those potential, eligible employees have not been notified at this time.

Leordeanu says they also don’t know what will be offered in the buyouts. 

The full plan should be rolled out by March or April. 

FedEx plans to provide more details at its next Investors Meeting on October 9 and 10.

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