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At least five days a week, Myron Ballard races around Washington, D.C., with a cargo van full of Amazon Prime packages. A career delivery driver with 20 years behind the wheel, Ballard typically gets paid $1.50 for each address he visits. If he delivers 150 Amazon boxes -- a fairly routine number -- he can pull in $225. Not bad for a day's work.
That is, until he starts tallying up all his out-of-pocket costs. Ballard works for an Amazon contractor called LaserShip. He's technically an "independent contractor," not an employee, meaning all of the costs stemming from the deliveries fall on him rather than on LaserShip or Amazon.
Ballard had to purchase the cargo van he drives for work. He doesn't get reimbursed for the wear and tear he puts on it; for the gasoline he pours into it on a near-daily basis; for the auto insurance he needs to carry; or for the parking tickets he inevitably racks up downtown. He doesn't even get reimbursed for the LaserShip uniform he's obliged to purchase and wear.
Some of these deductions are on the smaller side, like a $6 weekly "administrative" fee, ostensibly to cover the cost of paperwork and the pay stub itself. Others are more considerable, like a $23 weekly "insurance" fee, separate from the driver's own auto insurance. The "radio" rental, covering the hand-held computer drivers use to scan boxes they deliver, costs another $22.50 per week. Numerous drivers told HuffPost they have no choice but to lease it from the company.
That means that over the course of a year, a driver could pay as much as $1,170 for the privilege of renting a piece of equipment that the company requires him or her to use.
originally posted by: Kroovistos
I don't know why the article makes it seem like the contractor is getting screwed so hard. At a rate of just $200 per day (so less than the "fairly routine" 150 packages delivered) a person would make (gross?) $6,000 a month. Grossing $72,000 per year for driving around and delivering packages is way worth a few rental fees here and there. Hell, I'd wear a rented banana suit to make that kinda money for something so easy!