As Gas Prices Rise, News Carriers Feel the Pinch

By: Lesley Messer

Newspaper delivery contractors for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., are complaining that the rising price of gas is causing them to lose profits.

?Some of us are driving 60 to 100 miles a day, so gas is killing us,? Susan Wolf, who has delivered the paper for 16 years, told local TV reporter James Zambroski.

The drivers are compensated with 7 cents per paper delivered, with a little more on Sundays. They receive no benefits and are not reimbursed for gas.

?Some of us were told, if we wanted to we could ask our customers to give us a tip,? Wolf told Zambroski. ?Personally, I don’t like to do that.?

Other drivers received harsher responses.

?You ask them, ‘What can [you] do?’ They say, ‘If you don’t like it, there’s always somebody else to take your job,’? driver Joe Streible told Zambroski.

Linda Pursell, vice president of market development for the Courier-Journal, is keeping mum about the newspaper’s plans to handle the situation.

?We’re just looking it right now. No decisions have been made,? she explained to E&P, adding that there is also no timeframe for acting on the complaint. ?We’re tracking gasoline prices and we recognize the impact on carriers.?

Pursell also said that drivers have always known that it was their responsibility to pay for their own gas and it’s not been a problem in recent history.

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