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Demand decent conditions for Boston Globe delivery workers

This petition had 321 supporters


For years, we have been loyal subscribers and readers of The Boston Globe.

For years, we have appreciated the hard work of the Globe delivery staff who have performed some of the most difficult and under-appreciated jobs.  They wake up and begin work before dawn seven days a week, 365 days a year.  The work is grueling and arduous, and the pay is minimal.

For years, the Globe has subcontracted its delivery, and the subcontractor, PCF, classified its workers as “independent contractors,” meaning that the employer—PCF, and ultimately, the Globe—evades its responsibility to provide workers with state and federally mandated protections, wages, or benefits.  As the result of a 2008 lawsuit, PCF at least provided accident insurance for workers injured on the job—a very important benefit for workers who are not eligible for disability insurance or workers compensation, and who work in a high-risk situation, driving hundreds of miles every week in their own cars, at night and frequently during hazardous weather conditions.

And yet, PCF was able to maintain a stable workforce who delivered tens of thousands of papers every morning.

Then the Globe decided to cut its costs still further, contracting with a new company, ACI.  With PCF, the same workers delivered the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.  By splitting off, the Globe undermined the existing system, forcing PCF to fire workers and lengthen its routes.  And ACI offered even worse conditions:  lower pay, longer routes, and consolidated distribution centers that meant even more driving for workers every morning.  Workers from the North Shore are now required to drive to Woburn, and receive, fold, and package their Sunday papers outdoors in the icy darkness.

We appreciate the Globe’s reporting.  But we deplore its business practices.

Now some of the workers have raised their voices to demand decent working conditions.  We stand in support of these workers, and we cannot continue to support a newspaper and a business model based on hyper-exploitation of its lowest-paid workers.

The workers submitted a list of demands to ACI on Sunday, January 9th.  They are asking to increase to $0.25 per unit for deliveries made Monday through Saturday, and $0.50 per unit for deliveries made on Sunday.  In addition, they are asking to have the papers delivered to a central location in the Lynn or Salem area, instead of the inadequate Woburn facility. Finally, these workers are asking for a workspace with tables to sort the papers, light, restrooms, and heat.

So far, ACI has refused to even respond.

We refuse to support a company, and a system, that abuses its workers.  We support the workers’ demands.  If the Boston Globe and ACI do not take steps to respond to the workers and significantly improve working conditions by January 22th, 2016, we will be canceling our subscriptions to The Boston Globe.

 



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