Magazine article Workforce Management

Contractor's Road Is Wide Open

Magazine article Workforce Management

Contractor's Road Is Wide Open

Article excerpt

RENEE DICUS WAS WORKING as a federal forester in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1987 and, in the off-winter months, as a bartender in a Reno, Nevada, casino when she heard that a company called RPS was looking for contract delivery drivers.

She was so interested, she got a commercial driving license, scraped together $2,500 to lease a 1,000-cubic-foot panel truck, spent another $500 on uniforms, equipment and other supplies and signed on for a Reno delivery route.

Fifteen years later, RPS has become FedEx Ground, and Dicus, 41, now has five trucks and six drivers who work for her as subcontractors, delivering and picking up packages for her throughout the Reno area.

"The fact I am still doing it after 15 years, still trying to expand, says there are definitely some positives to it," Dicus says.

Dicus is one of 17,000 contract workers who make up the pickup and delivery workforce at FedEx Ground, a division of Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx Corp.

What attracted her to the work was the opportunity to make more money. What keeps her there is the ability to expand her business by hiring her own employees. She now works at home and manages the operation while her drivers service the routes.

The downside is that she is quite literally on her own. She doesn't receive FedEx benefits, overtime pay or a company retirement plan. She supplies her own trucks and uniforms with the FedEx Ground colors and logos and pays for gas, maintenance and insurance. …

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