Attorney General Maura Healey and federal labor authorities should take an independent look at the newspaper distribution industry — in this region, and nationwide. If the way the Globe and other papers are distributed runs afoul of state or federal labor laws, distributors must change their employment practices. In recent years, courts have sent mixed messages: the Orange County Register reached a settlement with carriers, but a Massachusetts case related to the Athol Daily Newsupheld the legality of the independent contractor model. In 2009, PCF settled a lawsuit for $1.4 million and agreed to end some labor practices, like docking the pay of workers if subscribers reported that their newspapers were wet.
It is noteworthy that the Globe called for the investigation into the companies it uses to deliver newspapers. An investigation may result in the reclassification of those who deliver newspapers from independent contractors to employees and the reclassification, and any remedial actions, may cost the newspaper delivery company increased costs, which may be passed on to the Globe.
Read the full editorial at Investigate the newspaper delivery industry