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FedEx Won't Reinstate Driver, Despite Community Outcry Over Firing

Spokesperson says, 'We wish Mr. Gilliam the best in his future endeavors.'

In response to a groundswell of support for a longtime FedEx Ground delivery man in East Hampton whose contract was terminated last week, the corporation gave no signs of hope for a reconciliation on Monday.

FedEx received hundreds of comments, Facebook messages and calls in which customers pleaded for the reinstatement of Barry Gilliam, who they said delivered their packages for the past 11 years with a smile and attitude that is rare.

"We appreciate the feedback that we have received. Our business relationship with Barry Gilliam, Inc., has ended," Erin Truxal, a FedEx Ground public relations manager based in Moon Township, PA, told East Hampton Patch on Monday evening.

"We wish Mr. Gilliam the best in his future endeavors. FedEx Ground remains committed to providing the best possible service to our customers," Truxal continued.

FedEx Ground contracted with Gilliam's business, Barry Gilliam, Inc., to provide service in East Hampton, Springs, and Wainscott for the past 11 years. In an interview on Saturday, Gilliam said that he purchased the route from the previous contractor and that every year his contract was renewed with FedEx.

A problem with the way his corporation status is filed led to the termination, which took effect late last week. Within 24 hours, his customers noticed his absence and word began to circulate around the tight-knit business community that Gilliam had lost his job.

By Sunday morning, a Facebook group titled, "We want Barry Gilliam reinstated at FedEx Ground," was formed. As of Monday night, 1,149 people joined the group. Some have threatened to boycott FedEx.

Owners of the East Hampton Business Service in the village started a petition on Monday, which they plan to send to the president of FedEx on Thursday.

Asked if reinstatement was a possibility in response to the outpouring of support Gilliam received from FedEx Ground customers, Truxal said, "Our business relationship with Barry Gilliam, Inc., has ended. All contractors agree to meet the terms of their agreements. Prior to ending an agreement, FedEx Ground provides contractors with information about issues that need to be addressed and time for their resolution. We wish Mr. Gilliam the best in his future endeavors."

Contractors agree to the terms of the contract, "to comply with federal and state laws, including those related to incorporation, good standing and ensuring its personnel are treated as employees," Truxal said. "These contractual requirements have been in place for years and are clearly and regularly communicated to independent contractors."

"FedEx Ground places the highest value on maintaining strong relationships with these small businesses and their owners," she said.

She said she could not divulge further details about why the contract with Gilliam ended. FedEx Ground "follows a very fair process" in terminating someone's contract, which "includes providing reasonable opportunity for independent contractor owners to correct contractual compliance issues."

They are also given "sufficient time to facilitate the sale or transfer of their business," she said. Asked if Gilliam could still sell his route to another contractor, Truxal said, "Under the terms of his agreement, Mr. Gilliam had the opportunity to sell his business until the agreement ended."

Tell us what you think of FedEx's response in the comments below.

Ellin Bay October 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM
BEST OF LUCK TO YOU BARRY!!!!! LOVE YA ELLIN
Brett Pawlowski October 17, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I agree as well. This comes from Rochester, NY.
june October 17, 2012 at 02:21 AM
I don't live there anymore but I won't use them in the Midwest -I think it goes to show where businesses have lost that "special touch". No care for the "little" man -or woman trying to make a living and support their family. No care if they get thrown out of their homes or can't feed their children. I am sure some conditions could have been changed and let Mr. Gilliam keep his route. Shame on you Fed-Ex...
MARTIN DREW October 17, 2012 at 02:32 AM
There is more to this ... Erin Truxal replied from FedEx to public tv inquiry .. And defended FedEx action of termination ; falling back on "other " issues that remained unresolved ; even thought they gave him ample opportunity to correct the problems or even sell his business ... Something is not being disclosed .. By FedEx or Barry Gilliam Inc. Hope only the best for Barry Gilliam Inc ..
MARTIN DREW October 17, 2012 at 02:34 AM
P.S for Mr Lang ; obviously YOU DONT know Barry ...
suzi o'connor October 17, 2012 at 10:01 AM
I FOR ONE WILL “NEVER” USE FED-EX AGAIN”...THINK WE SHOULD ALL DO THE SAME.......IF THEY CAN’T LISTEN TO THE CUSTOMER...WHO WANTS TO DO BUSINESS WITH THEM......NOT ME...SO LET’S C IF WE CAN ALL BOYCOTT FED-EX.....HIT THEM WHER IT HURTS...IN THEIR POCKET.......!!!!!!!
Nyla October 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM
It all boils down to someone that does NOT look like, talk like, nor smile like Barry Gilliam.. That wants his job/route! It's a sad, but so true!!
george bareis October 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM
As a FedEx Ground contractor for the last 16 years, I know the terms of the Operating Agreement. Mister Gilliam would have been given plenty of time to correct any situation. The terms of the Operating Agreement are clearly outlined in black and white. Just because someone is a nice guy and goes out and provide good service to everyone does not mean that they are a good businessman. As long as all terms of the Operating Agreement are being complied with there is no jeopardy to a contractors operating agreement. FedEx Ground routinely does audit the contractors to make sure they are in compliance with the Operating Agreement and all state and federal regulations. Even though Mister Gilliam provided a great service to his community apparently he was out of the boundaries of this operating agreement. Please give FedEx the benefit of the doubt they are not a fly by night company if you want to throw your grievances out there that is fine, but in the end federal and state regulations rule.
Erin Truxal October 17, 2012 at 04:03 PM
To all of the loyal readers, I hope to provide clarity on behalf of FedEx Ground. FedEx Ground values and appreciates the customer relationships built, and service provided by, Barry Gilliam and his company. Customer feedback and superior service is an essential part of our business. Independent contractors agree to provide more than that level of service. Independent contractors must be incorporated and remain in good standing in the state where they do business. The issue here was not whether Barry Gilliam, Inc., was registered as an S corporation or a C corporation, either are acceptable. Out of respect for Barry Gilliam, we are not sharing all of the details of the situation; however, there were a number of issues that have not been shared regarding Barry Gilliam, Inc., and the reason FedEx Ground stop doing business with the company. Prior to ending the contract, FedEx Ground provided Barry Gilliam, Inc., many chances and months to correct the problems. Barry Gilliam, Inc., also had ample opportunity to sell its business prior to the contract termination; in fact, FedEx Ground understands that Barry Gilliam, Inc., considered selling its business prior to termination. Again, we appreciate the relationships and service that Barry Gilliam and his company provided and find it unfortunate that his business was unable to meet its obligations.
MARTIN DREW October 17, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Could you Mr Bareis provide any idea to what could hsve been a issue? As a contractor yourself ... Spell it out for us... Is there redemption ? Forgiveness... A way to mend ? Barry IS FEDEX out here and well liked ... Tell us what could be the problem thst would lead to this unfortunate outcome for Barry and HIS customer base..
MARTIN DREW October 17, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Maybe UPS should step up grab Barry and his customer base... Sounds lime he has trucks ... Support... Go Brown ... Keep YOUR customers ... Its a win win for both players ... Will Barrys customers be ok with it??? It i$ the con$umer who pay$ .. May as well get WHO YOU WANT!!! Different color truck ; same service with a smile !! Im looking into the reality of this idea ... DHL .. Maybe yellow .. Who knows... Barry has support ! Figure it out Barry people ARE HERE 4 you ;)
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 17, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I just got this, from Patch, via email... Now I don't see the comment here... Was is a fraudulent posting or did it get removed for another reason...? SEE TEXT BELOW: Hi 1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars, Erin Truxal also commented on FedEx Won't Reinstate Driver, Despite Community Outcry Over Firing. "To all of the loyal readers, I hope to provide clarity on behalf of FedEx Ground. FedEx Ground values and appreciates the customer relationships built, and service provided by, Barry Gilliam and his company. Customer feedback and superior service is an essential part of our business. Independent contractors agree to provide more than that level of service. Independent contractors must be incorporated and remain in good standing in the state where they do business. The issue here was not whether Barry Gilliam, Inc., was registered as an S corporation or a C corporation, either are acceptable. Out of respect for Barry Gilliam, we are not sharing all of the details of the situation; however, there were a number of issues that have not been shared regarding Barry Gilliam, Inc., and the reason FedEx Ground stop doing business with the company. Prior to ending the contract, FedEx Ground provided Barry Gilliam, Inc., many chances and months to correct the problems. Barry Gilliam, Inc., also had ample opportunity to sell its business prior to the contract termination;
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) October 17, 2012 at 05:51 PM
1/2 and 1/2 - The comment is three comments above yours. I can say it is a valid statement from Erin Truxal from FedEx. She sent me something similar this morning.
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 17, 2012 at 05:58 PM
So from what I am understanding, both S and C corporations are acceptable to FedEx in regards to their independent contractor agreements, therefore Mr. Gilliam lied in stating that was the issue. Seriously...??? Maybe he can just tell us what really happened. I think FedEx is being appropriately diplomatic at this point and like grandma used to say, it all comes out in the wash. Time will tell...
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 17, 2012 at 05:58 PM
And thank you Taylor...
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 17, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Poor form to put your beloved customers in this predicament in the first place, then use false statements to garner support. Shame... Shame... Shame... ( sorry but the longer I think about this, the worse it stinks )
sag harbor October 17, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Give Barry his job back! "1/2" you need to get back to work, before you get caught wasting time online......wonder who would have your back when that happens????
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 17, 2012 at 09:07 PM
How about I'm at work at the same job I've had for 26 years... Don't celebrate your ignorance...
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 17, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Barry messed up.
george bareis October 18, 2012 at 03:37 AM
It would not be fair for me to speculate on why Mr. Gilliam's contract was terminated. I do know that FedEx is on the contractor side. They are the ones that drive the business for FedEx. As you can see by many of the above comments it would not be good business for FedEx to just go out and terminate contractors operating agreements. It definitely is not in the best interest to FedEx for these things to happen. But on the other hand they have to make sure that the contractors are all in compliance with state and federal regulations.
george bareis October 18, 2012 at 03:46 AM
As far as doing business with FedEx as an independent contractor again I don't believe Mr Gilliam will be given that opportunity again. Although he could hire on with another contractor and be employed as a driver.
Dan Terrasi October 18, 2012 at 04:31 AM
The EH post office should hire him if he's that good. They're a bit challenged when it comes to reliable delivery.
Evan Rofheart October 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Who are you buddy? - just another envious mid-island fraud I bet - why don't you do what you do best - get lost!
Evan Rofheart October 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM
You work ? doing what ? use your name instead of hiding....
Evan Rofheart October 21, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Ding Dong Ling Lang
Evan Rofheart October 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM
You don't know anything - FedEx is the ENEMY.
Evan Rofheart October 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Hey Erin, how much does FedEx Ground pay you a year to construct lies for them? 100K? 150K? I hope it is worth it all in the end for you!
Evan Rofheart October 21, 2012 at 12:24 AM
At least you use your real name - but FedEx in East Hampton is finished. And George - when they come for you - and they screw you just like they have done to Barry - how are you gonna feel. And buddy, they're a corporation - a typical evil corporation - so they WILL screw you - its just a matter of time. Mary my words. FedEx Ground is some sort of scam that needs to be investigated by the Attorney General.
Doreen Magee Gilliam Jones October 22, 2012 at 01:45 PM
U work @ Holbrook huh?
Doreen Magee Gilliam Jones October 22, 2012 at 02:03 PM
As I see it, one door closes, another opens. Barry, keep the faith cause something better comes your way. And remember what goes around comes around.

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