Canada Post agrees to extend mediation by 24 hours

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OTTAWA, Aug. 28, 2016. Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have been negotiating through the weekend with the help of a special mediator. At the mediator’s request Canada Post has agreed to extend mediation for another 24 hours. The current collective agreements will therefore continue to apply for the next 24 hours.

Canada Post is open for business while negotiations continue. Mail and parcels are being processed and delivered across the country as normal.

Should Canada Post go on strike, your packages that are already en route will be collected and remain in the carriers secure warehouses until the strike ends.

After the strike is over, Canada Post will have a backlog of packages to process and deliver. Delivery will lag.

If Canada Post goes on strike there will still be Courier service available from DHL, FedEx and UPS, however those services are typically much more expensive.

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Merry Christmas

Christmas BBQChef Josh Farrell (VP of Operations) and Sous Chef Sheri Meninga (Client Service staff) preparing the BBQ for the rest of the company. Great food, great time.

One way we have to say “thank you” to all our employees for doing a great job all year. Merry Christmas to all!

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100% Pick / Pack Guaranty

Dieter H. AmmannWe pride ourselves on our order packing accuracy and we continually strive to attain 100% accuracy. We do this by having one person pick the order and another person packing the order, with two sets of eyes on every order we are automatically more accurate. However, our secret lies in the fact that everything in our warehouse is barcoded including our shipping documents. No one has to type anything in the warehouse. Each packer logs into their packing workstation which tracks the activity and ultimately the packer’s accuracy, so in the unlikely event something goes wrong, we immediately know “who done it” and we do some retraining.

The shipping document is scanned, that brings up the order on the packer’s workstation screen. Then each item is scanned and placed into the shipper (shipping box, envelope, padded envelope, flat rate envelope or box). Once the order is complete the packer tells the workstation which shipper he used that best suited the order, based on our predictive formula of the type of merchandise, the destination and weight. All items and flyers or inserts are packed, any addition packaging items used are then added with a single touch and the package is placed on the scale attached to the workstation. The weight from the scale is compared to the weight calculated by our software, based on the weight of each item and the packaging used. If the weight is not in tolerance of what is acceptable, the package is rejected and put aside for a supervisor to examine and repack if necessary. If there is no issue with the weight, the shipping label automatically prints and and is applied to the package and the package placed in the proper shipping bin for the carrier.

Our order accuracy is incredible accurate and in the unlikely event that we do something wrong, we will retrieve any order from the customer and send out a new order all at our expense.

Now, that’s SERVICE you don’t get anywhere else!

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Happy Independence Day

us-flagWe wish everyone a safe and sane 4th of July Independence Day. Lets remember why we are celebrating this holiday. Our independence is getting more fragile every day, let’s celebrate and consider ways for us to stay free!

Fulfillment Express, Inc. will be closed on Friday, July 3rd to allow our employees to celebrate this great holiday with their families this weekend.

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Shippers suspend weekend cargo loading at U.S. West Coast ports

This is a reprint of an article from Reuters, that points to the recent problems at the West Coast Ports. We have experienced a significant slow down in getting containers out of the harbor. Hopefully this gets settled soon.

Ships gather off the port at Long Beach, California in this aerial image
(Reuters) – The loading and unloading of freighters will be suspended at all 29 U.S. West Coast ports this weekend, shipping companies said on Friday, citing chronic cargo backups that the shippers and dockworkers union have blamed on each other during months of labor tensions. But terminal yard, rail and gate operations at the ports, handling nearly half of U.S. maritime trade and over 70 percent of imports from Asia, will go on at the discretion of terminal managers through Saturday and Sunday, the Pacific Maritime Association said.

The announcement added to the discord surrounding negotiations of a new labor contract for 20,000 dockworkers, represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that have dragged on for nearly nine months.

“In light of ongoing union slowdowns up and down the coast which have brought the ports almost to a standstill, PMA member companies finally have concluded that they will no longer continue to pay workers premium pay for diminished productivity,” the association said in a brief statement. It said vessel loading and unloading operations were scheduled to resume on Monday, while yard operations – moving unloaded cargo containers for truck and rail delivery to customers – would continue at terminal operators’ discretion.

The union, insisting the parties were near a settlement in the federally mediated talks, branded the shippers’ move another act of public posturing that distracted from negotiations. Two days earlier, the PMA’s chief executive, James McKenna, warned that ports plagued by worsening cargo congestion were nearing the point of complete gridlock.

The companies have repeatedly accused the union of orchestrating work slowdowns to gain leverage in negotiations that have dragged on for nine months The union denies this and has faulted the carriers for the congestion, citing numerous changes in shipping practices as contributing factors.

“Closing down the ports over the weekend is a crazy way to do business because it’s hurting customers and adding to the already serious congestion crisis that the industry has created,” union spokesman Craig Merrilees said. “We can’t afford to be distracted by gimmicks and games.”

Crippling backups that began at the ports in October have rippled through the U.S. commercial supply chain, disrupting shipments of a wide range of goods affecting agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and retail. The congestion has been most pronounced at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s two busiest cargo container hubs, where more than 20 freighters have been left idled at anchor each of the past few days, waiting for berths to open.

The National Retail Federation urged the parties on Friday to cease the “escalating rhetoric, the threats, the dueling press releases” in order to find common ground.

The last time dockworkers’ contract negotiations led to a full shutdown of the West Coast ports was in 2002, when the companies imposed a lockout that was lifted 10 days later under a court order sought by President George W. Bush.

Then as now, the companies accused the unions of instigating work slowdowns, and the union blamed management.

The PMA has estimated that the 2002 lockout caused $15.6 billion in economic losses. When it ended, some 200 freighters were waiting at anchor to be unloaded.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Ken Wills)

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Court finds that workforce of FedEx Ground drivers are employees, not independent contractors

Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that a class of 2,300 individuals working for FedEx Ground was misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees. As a result, FedEx may owe its workforce of drivers hundreds of millions of dollars for illegally shifting to them the costs of such things as the FedEx branded trucks, FedEx branded uniforms, and FedEx scanners, as well as missed meal and rest period pay, overtime compensation, and penalties. The case, known as Alexander v. FedEx Ground, covers employees in California from 2000 – 2007.

Judge Fletcher’s majority opinion was very clear on the question of whether these workers are employees or independent contractors, stating “We hold that plaintiffs are employees as a matter of law under California’s right-to-control test.”

 

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Promotions at Fulfillment Express

We are proud to announce the promotion of Joshua Farrell to the position of Vice President of Operations and Mary Vallejo to Client Account Manager.  Both of these hardworking staff members have been with the company for the past 7 years and we are proud of their achievements and wish them continued success!

Mary Vallejo

Mary Vallejo

Josh Farrell

Joshua Farrell

 

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Order Email contact

Dieter H. AmmannThose of you who know me, know that I have always preached that every contact with your customer is a marketing opportunity. Keeping with that, we have created a new email contact system that will help you create these marketing opportunities or at minimum reduce returns, by providing more information to the customer.

We have always sent out beautifully formatted emails for order and shipping acknowledgements, now we have added a whole new set of emails. Starting with an email when the customers order is delivered (we track the order up to delivery). This email can be delivered any number of days after the order is in the hands of the customer. It can contain a link to a video for installation or usage help or an FAQ document of tips or just a thank you for the order. Subsequently we can sent additional emails out any of number of days after the delivery of the order to the customer, to remind the customer to re-order, to offer other products, specials, promotions or links to your website where they can save money with a coupon. We can taylor an email to offer the customer continuity (AutoShip) for automatic replenishment once a month or whatever period, offering them a money savings plan.

The options are endless, contact your Client Account Executive to discuss this further or feel free to contact me for some brain storming on how we can help spice up those sales.

 

 

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Recent trade show visit

I recently attended the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) trade show at the Wynn in Las Vegas. It was great seeing so many friends and people we have worked with for over 20 years. It’s amazing how this business has changed, yet some things never change, that is staying in touch with people. Networking is the life blood of this business. As a fulfillment house it’s difficult for us to advertise directly to obtain new clients, so we rely greatly on our friends in the industry, especially since we work with so many of them, like Call Centers, Merchant Service providers, Media Buyers and many others.

It was a short trip, but well worth the effort. Congratulations to our friend Marcelino Miyares of Mercury en Español for his selection as  Volunteer of the Year of the ERA. Great job, Marcelino.

See you all on the trail!

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Being a US Employer in 2013

Dieter H. Ammann

Being an employer today is more difficult then ever. I remember when I started my first business in 1981, we would simply interview the prospective employee and perhaps gave them a  qualifying test and if we liked them and they passed the test, they were hired. If it was a responsible position we would get and check their references.  Now twenty some years later the process is incredible compounded.  As a country we allowed so many people to sneak across our borders and the government makes it our responsibility as an employer to insure their qualification of eligibility to work in this country. Isn’t this backwards, I always thought that as a citizen and an employer it was the governments responsibility to protect us, thats why we pay all those taxes and fees.

Now if we hire a person that is in this country illegally we get fined. It makes it very difficult as a small business. For years I have always heard that small business is the backbone of this country, more people work for small businesses then large businesses, so why not protect this national treasure, the small business?

I just received the most recent E-Verify Connection newsletter with a new link to an Employers handbook, here’s the link: Handbook for Employers, Guidance for Completing the Form I-9. This is what we have to deal with, look at page 2 where it talks about the Guidance for completing form I-9 and then immediately indicates that the form is available in English and Spanish. That’s just wrong! Every time I hear the president and now Congress talk about a path to legalization for the millions of illegals in this country, they always mention that part of the path is speaking English.  Then why does the government publish anything in any other language then English?

As a former immigrant myself who had to wait 8 years to obtain a legal Visa, my family and I made every effort to learn English so we could adapt to our new country.  We, as many others came to the United States seeking a better life, so why not adapt and become Americans and that starts with learning the language. I rest my case!

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