New London – Carrier hiring and retention issues have hampered The Day’s delivery of its print editions to some areas, a problem it is working to rectify as soon as possible, the chairman and publisher of The Day said on Wednesday. log.
“We’re working on it,” Timothy Dwyer said. “We apologize for the service interruption. We hope it will be fixed soon.”
Over the past year, the departures of some of The Day’s longtime drivers have created positions that have proven harder to fill than usual, likely in part due to the abundance of other job opportunities. employment and high gas prices, according to Nadine McBride, chief financial officer of The Day. officer, who oversees the circulation and distribution of the newspaper. The situation has worsened in recent months.
“It was a perfect storm,” McBride said.
Newspaper door-to-door delivery, once done by couriers and paperboys but now almost entirely reserved for adults who drive their own vehicles, is an industry-wide challenge, McBride said.
“All independent newspaper groups have issues with carriers,” she said. “The availability of other jobs is part of the problem. … In the past, we always had a list of people looking for jobs and we were able to fill positions much faster.
Things have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our bench isn’t as deep as it used to be,” said Matt Dery, broadcast manager for The Day, who wanted people to know that The Day is looking to hire carriers.
Before new transporters take to the road again, they undergo several days of training. Sometimes, after training or soon after, they quit, prompting The Day to start offering a bonus to those who stay on the job for three months, McBride said.
Typically, hauliers on The Day’s payroll deliver The Day and Hartford Courant publications in southern New London County, while independent contractors hired by The Courant deliver The Day in the northern part of its county area. traffic, including Griswold, Lisbon, Baltic and the east side of Norwich.
While employees receive mileage reimbursement and are paid by the hour, independent carriers pay for their own gas and are paid based on the number of documents they deliver. All carriers work part-time shifts of several hours starting in the early morning. Most work seven days a week.
In April, the number of monthly complaints about missed deliveries from The Day tripled, Dery said, with nearly a third of callers hanging up before a customer service representative could respond.
Dwyer said he receives a number of calls each day.
“When I explain the situation, they’re usually understanding, but they want their paper,” he said. “In most cases, we can’t get the newspaper to them that day, so we offer them a credit.”
Typically, McBride said, a carrier that misses a customer will deliver the day’s paper the next day. Long gone are the days of a “delivery” team shipping paperwork to missed customers the same day, she said.