Inside Logistics

New York delivery businesses protest emergency bonuses

Proposed law would require courier employers to pay drivers a bonus based on shift duration


April 28, 2020
by

NEW YORK – A proposed New York City Council bill could cost courier and delivery companies up to $6,000. a day in extra wages says the New York State Messenger Courier Association (NYSMCA).

The bill includes a provision that would require small delivery companies to pay their delivery people bonuses for working during the city’s state of emergency. This burden could amount to $2 million or more a year per 100 full time employees working a five-day week.

These companies deliver groceries, medications, and other essentials.

“This provision is essentially a death sentence for the companies that New Yorkers depend upon to get the essentials to their doors,” said John Rutigliano, president of the NYSMCA.

“Our members are small businesses that simply can’t sustain these added gross payroll costs. I have no doubt that most will simply go out of business when saddled with that burden.”

The proposed bill would require employers with 100 or more employees to pay hourly workers $30 for a shift under four hours, $60 for a shift of four to eight hours and $75 dollars for any shift over eight hours.

“For a courier company that uses 100 delivery people for eight hours a day, that’s an added $6,000 a day plus related payroll taxes in overhead that they simply can’t sustain,” Rutigliano said.

“Our people have kept home-bound New Yorkers out of the supermarkets and drug stores. They have brought food and medicine to those who are elderly, pregnant and taking care of young children. They deliver facemasks, gowns and gloves to medical professionals.  They have done their jobs with dedication and to propose something that would destroy their employers and put them out of work is unconscionable,” he added.

He urged New York City Council to consider the human and financial cost of putting these small delivery companies out of work before passing this legislation.

“It’s our job to keep the wheels of commerce running, no matter what the circumstances,” he said. “If you saddle these small businesses with this kind of additional overhead in an already precarious financial times, you can expect everyone who depends upon them to suffer.”

The New York State Messenger and Courier Association (NYSMCA) is a non-profit association that has worked to advance the interests of the messenger and courier industry in the state of New York since 1945.