FLING10 021

I have been a pizza delivery since 1979, and have worked many kinds of jobs including restaurant worker, but I have spent most of my time delivering pizzas since 1990. Pizza delivery driving is a good job in some ways, but wages have been declining for about the last 25 years. In about 2000 my wages fell to a point that I sought out other drivers on the Internet, and surprisingly enough there was many websites for pizza drivers. After comparing notes with the other drivers I authored a petition for them that is still online today, and some of the drivers put up a website that was called The Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers (APDD). I found a labor law attorney in St. Louis where I lived at the time, so I went to see the attorney, and he give me all the facts on labor laws. He suggested we become a union, so we did go through the process to become a union. We fought many battle trying to change the way business is done, and after five years of hard work we had to throw in the towel being bankrupt. The APDD and the AUPDD that followed almost worked, but it is almost impossible to start a new union, and it is needed in every job now almost. The APDD website kept a news section with links to news stories worldwide, and these stories were of both men and women that were victims of crime while on duty. These drivers had everything from their money to cars stolen, but were also beaten, maimed, mutilated, and killed on the job. Even besides the crime factor there is danger just from crazy bad drivers on the road, and this job has been rated from first to fifth most dangerous job in the world. Delivery drivers have to use there own transportation not a company car, and the cost of repairs is astronomical yet the companies pay a tiny delivery charge to the drivers. This is not counting that gas gasoline has gone up in price as much a 500% since 1999, and still no major increase in the delivery charge for the drivers from the corporations. Wages can be anything from minimum wage to the waitress wage of $2.13 an hour, but some delivery stores pay nothing an hour expecting the driver to live off of the tiny delivery charge and tips which should be illegal.

Tips are a game without rules, and people can stiff you for any reason including no reason. Tips need laws to govern them, because it should be performance based, but most of the time it is not performance based in reality. People are just plain cheap even when they know you are a tipped employee, and I have seen their excuses in print on the Internet of why they do not tip like it is not my problem, I don’t want to, and you get paid by the company which they often do not know what they are talking about since some store pay nothing an hour as I had said. The government needs to force the companies to put the tip on the customers bill, and then the tipped employee cannot be cheated. The companies say we are tipped employees, and then they turn around and say we have no rights to any tip, so which is it because that is double talk. If tips were on the bill then you would have a complete accounting of all tips for taxation, but if the government will not put ink to paper to make rules then the government should have no right to any taxes on tips. If you want to get paid you need to do the work, or forfeit the tax money. People will drag you out to their homes at all hours of the night through rain, sleet, snow, and tornados for delivery then stiff the driver, and it has to end the drivers are loosing their shirts. I already lost my home in Missouri, because of poor pay, and bad tips in 2009. My wife became disabled, and I worked two jobs, played in a band, set up Ecommerce sites trying to make a living which did not work, and at the same time I put myself through two years of college at ITT-Tech yet I still lost our home which was a mobile home that was paid off.

In the APDD we heard from drivers from all over the world, and they all said the same thing they could not earn a living, so the corporations are out of control. I have suffered greatly for these corporation having been attacked myself many times on the job, and they could care less if I have food to eat, or the bills are paid at home. Please do the right thing, and support tipped employees in the restaurant business, because the companies will not stand up for us.