Thursday, January 14, 2016

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XXX

Since it doesn't look like we'll have Shank to kick around today, we'll just instead go to the next available target:
In my book Undocumented, I included a section on newspaper delivery. I criticized the way workers were classified as independent contractors, meaning that they could receive less than minimum wage and be excluded from workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits. I pointed out that they work 365 days a year, starting between one and four in the morning, could not miss a day of work unless they arranged for their own replacement, and had to drive hundreds of miles a week, paying for their own gas and car maintenance. Finally, I noticed that regardless of the severity of a snow emergency or whether the streets had even been plowed, workers were required to show up for their routes. “It’s a job,” I wrote, “made for an undocumented immigrant.” Indeed, in the Boston area and elsewhere in the United States, immigrants make up a large portion of the newspaper delivery labor force.

I never imagined that a few years later I would be sitting in a room with a half dozen newspaper delivery workers who were demanding a return to the conditions I had described—because the new Boston Globe delivery company, ACI Media Group of Long Beach California, had significantly worsened their working situation. In Lynn, Massachusetts, workers found significant labor and community support for their demands as members of the Lynn Worker Center, the North Shore Labor Council, the New Lynn Coalition, IUE-CWA Local 201, the Lynn City Council and the Lynn School Committee vowed to support their struggle.
Over the years the Boston Globe has piously lectured us about the importance of unions and the fair treatment of employees, only to have us witness the exact opposite treatment when it concerns their own employees. They deserve every word of criticism they're getting for this debacle, and I'm loving every damn millisecond of it.

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