Dear Vim and Lolly:

We, the undersigned, represent the delivery driver staff at the Topper’s Pizza restaurant in Ventura. Although we understand and appreciate the opportunity that the job of pizza delivery offers us, the time has come for us to confront an issue that’s been becoming more and more critical with each passing week.

As you are most certainly aware of, gasoline prices have risen substantially since the beginning of the year. Currently, the lowest price for gas in the city is $2.519 per gallon. As delivery drivers, we are forced to fill up our gas tanks twice or even three times a week, and each time we visit the gas station, we feel the pinch of the cost that our jobs entail.

At this point in time, delivery drivers receive 85¢ reimbursement for each delivery they make. Unfortunately, this amount is no longer enough to cover the cost of gas and maintenance for our cars due to this sudden escalation in gas prices. Our delivery area requires us to make deliveries to houses that are up to five miles away from our store, making the delivery a 10-mile round trip. For a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon, a delivery of that length would cause the driver to take a 60¢ net loss.

Granted, not all of our deliveries go out to the edges of our delivery area. But as the price of gas continues to rise as experts predict, the radius of our deliveries that the 85¢ reimbursement can offset will continue to shrink. If we are forced to incur a loss on many of our deliveries, the net wage we would earn would eventually sag under the state minimum wage. As we are sure you would agree, a job as challenging and hazardous as delivering pizzas is worth more than minimum wage.

For this reason, we the undersigned strongly urge you to raise the reimbursement for each delivery to at least $1.25 per order. Doing this will help us to pay for the costs that are associated with out work and will prevent us from having to rely on customer tips (which the customer is not obligated to provide and drivers are not allowed to solicit) to pay for these costs.

We appreciate your consideration and hope to hear from you in the future.

Sincerely,
The Undersigned

I gave this to my manager today, with my signature and those of all the drivers on the bottom of the letter. We’ll see if this goes anywhere, or if I’m picking up my last check tomorrow.

On a brighter note…

I dunno why, I always seem to play better when I’m sick for some reason.

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7 thoughts on “

  1. robertsearcy

    Good luck with the reimbursement! I do hope you get it…….pizza delivery drivers, no matter where at or what pizza place, work very hard for too little pay (IMO).

    Reply
  2. jiggery_pokery

    Noting our political differences, I am greatly amused that left-wing I am not in a labour union with collective bargaining and Republican you have only gone and established your own. 😉 Well, you have! Has your opinion of them changed, I wonder? Seriously, I wish you all much luck with your respectful and appropriate approach.

    Personally, I would rather pay a decent (i.e. higher) price for my pizza knowing that all the staff, both in-store and delivery, were getting a fair salary out of it without the world having to resort to ought-to-be-genuinely-discretionary tips. (If we’re being completely honest, though, I always prefer to collect my pizzas and enjoy eating them as I walk back from the shop…!)

    Reply
  3. loogaroo

    I’m for actual workers coming together to negotiate things like wages and working conditions with their employers. However, I’m very much against large unions headquartered God-knows-where led by people who only represent workers to the extent that their dues afford them. After going through the strike last year, it became obvious that these giant unions treat their members just as impersonally as the employers they claim are so evil.

    Reply
  4. rbmkalpha

    The letter looks nice, Tim. Hopefully your manager will do the fair thing and ante up to the increased costs. If it’s any consolance folks on the east coast are feeling the pinch too (to a lesser amount, though.) Yeah, I’ve heard lots of creepy things about large unions too. Some of the stuff was downright rotten to say the least.

    Best of luck in your employment situations there.

    Reply
  5. jiggery_pokery

    Fair enough. 🙂 I’m sure that there are effective and ineffective unions. I also suspect that a little local union like yours stands a better chance of being effective than, say, a United Californian Delivery Workers union might do. (Wouldn’t such a thing be cool, though?)

    Reply

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