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Old 08-01-2007, 01:51 AM   #11  
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Convinced two people tonight who had voted yes to go back and switch votes to NO.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:23 AM   #12  
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Convinced two people tonight who had voted yes to go back and switch votes to NO.
Sweet....it's going to take every last vote, and it ain't over until the voting closes.

Rest assured, the MEC and company haven't fired there last e-mail/FCIF salvos yet.

(Isn't it amazing how they're coordinating their fire --- I wonder what what happen if they spent that time addressing the issue which have been brought up in these forums and worked hard to find middle ground.

Satisfied/motivated workers = increased productivity = reduced costs = profits!

Remember, it's all about maximizing the bottom line --- but of cousre, the question is how do you get there.)
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:13 AM   #13  
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You guys need to lay off of Bob. He is just misunderstood.

He is just the big black lovable lab that comes into the house soaking wet, mud on his paws, with that dead skunk in his mouth. He drops the skunk on the new persian rug, wags his tail, and waits for his master to praise him for the wonderful gift he has just sat before his feet.
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:28 AM   #14  
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Then growls at you when you grab it up with a gloved hand and throw it outside...
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:35 AM   #15  
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<< ... the CBA-which has no provisions for any housing allowance, education allowance, tax-gross-up ... >>

WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, NELLIE !!! Let's get one thing perfectly clear here ... THERE IS NO TAX GROSS-UP IN THE LOA. This is a particular bone of contention, as a matter of fact. Where on earth did you get that idea? Or do you misunderstand the meaning of that term? "Tax gross-up" means that if the host country taxes an employee, say 15% (call it $15,000 for this example), the employer will raise that employee's gross pay by a like amount, so it is the employer who actually pays it, and the employee does not feel the effect of it. In fact, the employer usually raised the gross pay by a bit more, to cover the IRS's share of that $15,000 gross-up (the IRS will tax you on the amount of gross-up provided by your employer). If you think FedEx is going to raise the pay of any pilot bidding CDG/HKG by an amount to cover the foreign taxes, you have been out to lunch. You need to seriously rethink your backing of this LOA, because obviously, you do not see the issues clearly.
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:45 AM   #16  
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Just one more thing to fan the fires.

I read the Block 4 update on the ALPA website. According to the author, the company wanted seperate LOA's for CDG and CAN. ALPA insisted on a one document covers it all. WHAT WERE THESE GUYS THINKING?

The more details that come out, the more I understand why they are defending this POS so much. They will lose big time credibility with the company. They were supposed to be speaking for us and they have realized that they have no clue what the rank and file wanted.

I guess after the age 65 thing they just knew what was good for us
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:46 AM   #17  
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In fact, the 17% HKG tax you'll be paying isn't even going to the Chinese gov't. -- it's going back to FedEx. Foreign companies have to sign a commitment to pay the Chines gov't. an amount equal to 17% of the expat employees' pay. It's a cost of doing business, and it's not unusual at all. What IS unusual (I would say even reprehensible) is that FDX is making a grab at your check to partially offset that cost of doing business ... by withholding "HKG tax" from your check in an amount up to what you'd be paying if you lived in the U.S. What it means is that even though when you file your Federal tax return, Uncle Sam still gives you the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) of about $82K (for 2007), you effectively lost that when FDX took some of it to help defray what they're on the hook for to the Chinese gov't. You think they put us in HKG because it's cleaner and we'd have more fun? Hah, you dreamer. They put us in HKG because the commitment they'd have to sign on for if we were living in CAN (Guangzhou) is more like 51% of our pay, and there was no way we'd tolerate giving up that much pay -- they knew they'd never be able to pull it off. But if they put up a smokescreen, we just might bite off on 17%, up to the level we'd be paying if we lived in the States, anyway. Why would you move overseas and give up a benefit Uncle Sam gives you for going there in furtherance of the business interests of a U.S. corporation? Not just give it up -- but HAND IT OVER TO YOUR EMPLOYER??? Are you out of your mind?
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:06 AM   #18  
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[I'm sure I'll regret doing this.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerkyBird View Post

<< ... the CBA-which has no provisions for any housing allowance, education allowance, tax-gross-up ... >>

WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, NELLIE !!! Let's get one thing perfectly clear here ... THERE IS NO TAX GROSS-UP IN THE LOA. This is a particular bone of contention, as a matter of fact. Where on earth did you get that idea? Or do you misunderstand the meaning of that term? "Tax gross-up" means that if the host country taxes an employee, say 15% (call it $15,000 for this example), the employer will raise that employee's gross pay by a like amount, so it is the employer who actually pays it, and the employee does not feel the effect of it. In fact, the employer usually raised the gross pay by a bit more, to cover the IRS's share of that $15,000 gross-up (the IRS will tax you on the amount of gross-up provided by your employer). If you think FedEx is going to raise the pay of any pilot bidding CDG/HKG by an amount to cover the foreign taxes, you have been out to lunch. You need to seriously rethink your backing of this LOA, because obviously, you do not see the issues clearly.

Tax Gross-Up is EXACTLY what makes Tax Equalization work. It's not only "in" the LOA, it's a key component that allows the language, "a pilot bears approximately the same US Federal tax burden as he would pay if he were assigned to a domestic base rather than CDG or HKG."

Taxes paid by the employer to the host country are accrued to the employee as taxable income, and thereby increases the employee's tax obligation to the U.S. (and maybe the applicable state). This is not the choice of the employee or employer, it is IRS regulation. In effect, that "raises the pay" of that employee. A gross up is applied to ensure that the tax obligation on that increased income does not impose a tax burden that he would have not borne had he been assigned to a domestic base.

I hope this brief explanation will help everyone see it more clearly. (If not, you can find my contact info on the ALPA FEDEX website.)

Consider also the Price Waterhouse Cooper's explanation of Tax Equalization Policy. As you read their information you might notice Tax Equalization is not a scheme devised by FedEx -- it's a standard option for companies with expatriate employees.


I won't get into a discussion about whether this is good or bad -- I leave that debate in your hands. I simply believe the debate will be more relevant if the subject matter of the debate is better understood.





[My post on this subject and silence on other subjects should not
be misconstrued as agreement with the views being expressed on
those subjects. This post indicates nothing more than my inability
to bite my lip. Please forgive me.]
.

Last edited by TonyC; 08-01-2007 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:15 AM   #19  
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[I'm sure I'll regret doing this.]




Tax Gross-Up is EXACTLY what makes Tax Equalization work. It's not only "in" the LOA, it's a key component that allows the language, "a pilot bears approximately the same US Federal tax burden as he would pay if he were assigned to a domestic base rather than CDG or HKG."

Taxes paid by the employer to the host country are accrued to the employee as taxable income, and thereby increases the employee's tax obligation to the U.S. (and maybe the applicable state). This is not the choice of the employee or employer, it is IRS regulation. In effect, that "raises the pay" of that employee. A gross up is applied to ensure that the tax obligation on that increased income does not impose a tax burden that he would have not borne had he been assigned to a domestic base.

I hope this brief explanation will help everyone see it more clearly. (If not, you can find my contact info on the ALPA FEDEX website.)

Consider also the Price Waterhouse Cooper's explanation of Tax Equalization Policy. As you read their information you might notice Tax Equalization is not a scheme devised by FedEx -- it's a standard option for companies with expatriate employees.


I won't get into a discussion about whether this is good or bad -- I leave that debate in your hands. I simply believe the debate will be more relevant if the subject matter of the debate is better understood.

.
I do believe pilots should have the choice on wether to participate in the tax equalization benefit offered by FEDEX or opt out (...just like healthcare, life insurance etc)

With that said, I do not think "tax equalization" is a "cornerston gripe" with this LOA --- it is a std expat benefit, like indoor plumbing in your rental house

(...ok guys, have you seen the opening I've left you with there?)

Just add verbiage which allow pilots to "opt out" and I believe this "particular" isse with the LOA will be resolved.

...of course, we definitly need some more tweaking in other areas.

It's really OK guys --- vote "NO" -- then reopen equitable negogiations between the NC and Mgt.

A "win-win" for all can truly still happen!
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:20 AM   #20  
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From the 79 snipet:

<Are there $9k apartments in MEM or LAX? Yes…just as expensive apartments exist in HKG. However, there are lots of apartments ranging from $2500-$4000 in great areas with expats and they are clean(emphasis added...couldn't help myself). The Negotiating Committee did not think a pilot going to HKG should have all their housing expenses paid. Just like the company doesn’t pay housing in MEM, ANC or LAX. The company figured the average mortgage+utilities for a pilot is around $3000. ALPA used $2000 a pilot for an estimate of out of pocket, so housing allowance (FDX) $2700 + (pilot) $2000 = $4700 month (apartment in HKG or CDG). If you don’t want to pay some out of pocket, don’t consider the base.>



First, yes, there are $9K apartments in LAX, perhaps MEM, but those are on the upper end. Guess what, Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world for housing. The average ex-pat pays over $8,000USD per month! LAX wasn't mentioned in the top 20, but CDG was. I believe it made the top ten chart. $2500-$4000 for great areas with expats, and they are clean. At least he didn't say nice as company officials stated in a briefing to the "subic demagogues" a couple months back. Actually, they claimed $3500. It's obviously changed since then. I like the trend though.

The company figured the average mortgage(I prefer to use the word rent, or since HKG, perhaps let would be in order) + utilities for a pilot is around $3,000. Personally, I don't care what the company "figured." I want to know what figure the NC came up with in their cost analysis. Surely there was some sort of analysis done on Hong Kong housing/living expenses. I would think that would be a minimum prerequisite for any negotiating of an FDA. And, that would include more than just a cursory look at Hong Kong Living Magazine.


<One of the biggest aspects of this LOA is enhanced Scope protection.>

Again, show me the beef.


<When SFS was opened, FDX said not to be covered by RLA. ALPA put out a notice not to bid SFS. That bid filled up in days - plenty of folks bid it anyway. And there were no financial incentives to bid the base.>

I did not bid SFS until fairly recently, but no financial incentives? I beg to differ. When the base initially opened I believe there was some sort of "bonus" money. I thought it was upwards of $10,000-$15,000, but I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that three years ago I bid it for the financial incentives. I got 79 CH's pay to come out and I'll get 79 CH's when I go back. In December of next year, that equates to over $18,000! I have also been able to utilize my foreign earned income exclusion, which this year will enable me to keep almost $22,000 of my income. Income normally paid for federal taxes, if I lived in the states. That same $22,000 per year disappears with the LOA and its tax equalization. A formula/plan which I remind all, is NOT mandatory!

Hey, the company could provide the $2700 housing and pay foreign taxes. Let us keep the foreign earned income exclusion and the writeoff for foreign taxes. Our U.S. tax liability will be zero and the extra $50,000 + the pilot would keep from his/her gross income would be enough for a nice and clean apartment. Plus, there might be enough to supplant the tuition costs for schooling.

Speaking of schooling:

<FDX was never going to pay schooling. We’re pilots, not executives, we’re also not E1. When they send an executive over, they get to pick who they send. They can look and choose a person without kids.>

They also send executives with children as evidenced by the executive in Singapore who had a stepson. You know the one that got caught vandalizing and was subsequently caned.

Admittedly, the schooling issue is a cost that's largely unknown until the bid is posted. In Subic there are about 25 school age children. The solution is to simply put some sort of cap. But the company simply will never pay schooling. They told the NC personally. I'm not sure what the NC's response or counter was.

<There are options for enrolling your kids into American or British school in HKG…There’s also Xuhai, Shenzhen, and Macau, and you can get your kids into school there.

Bob told a story about kids being signed up for good private schools when born, so still hard to get into the best private schools in the US. Some people had to move from NY to CT because they couldn’t get their kids into school in NY. This is a problem happening everywhere, not just HKG.>


What? I would like to throw out one word here...choice. So some kids couldn't get into the "best private schools." Could they get into others? Were there public schools available? Many families actually move to certain neighborhoods because of the schools in that district. The difference between that and HKG is their is relatively no choice in HKG. Kids don't speak Cantonese...looks like private school then, huh?

As for schools in Xuhai(Zhuhai?) and Shenzhen, those are in mainland China! Shenzhen is almost an hour and a half drive away. Zhuhai, on the other hand is only about a 30 minute drive...after you take the 50 minute ferry ride to Macau. Oh, so Macau is only a 50 minute ferry ride. Yes, that's all, and perhaps a 5-10 minute taxi to school, each way. Did Bob really say this?

I have voted. For those of you still gathering data/facts, I encourage you to listen to our MEC and our NC well, but not blindly. When something is described as set in stone, required, or mandatory, I encourage you to ask, by whom.

This LOA is woefully inadequate, ill-prepared, and hastily pushed forward. They can tweak it all they want. As I said before, You can squirt all the sprays of perfume you want, the floating turd will always stink until its flushed.
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