Friday, August 10, 2007

Magazine business paid slave wages, Cuomo says

BoSacks Speaks Out: Every few years stories like the one below rise to the surface to remind us of our absolute desperation to keep up our rate base. Circ numbers at any price, yep . . . that's the motto.

It is despicable. Publishers will claim that that they had no idea who was pedaling their product or indeed that anything wrong was going on. Isn't that kind of statement telling enough?

P L E A S E! Who are you kidding? Smoke and mirrors, that is all. One more nail into the coffin of accountability. This damn insistence on deception annoys the hell out of me.

It's very late and I have a big road trip tomorrow morning, but I reserve the right in the next couple of days for a full fledged circulation rant. It is long over due.

"Deception is a cruel act... It often has many players on different stages that corrode the soul."

Donna A. Favors (Member of the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Institute, 1955)

Magazine business paid slave wages, Cuomo says


The ads hook young recruits with the promise of free travel across the nation and the chance to earn hundreds of dollars a week, plus a $500 signing bonus - just for peddling magazines.

But that promising jobs pitch from Jaguar Sales is simply a fraud, according to a lawsuit filed against the company yesterday by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

The suit, filed in Dutchess County Court, alleges that Jaguar Sales exploited young workers by having them work long hours as door-to-door salespeople with no guarantee of earning money.

"They quickly discovered that every promise made to them was a sham," said Cuomo.

Based in Gig Harbor, Wash., Jaguar hires young people to sell subscriptions for mags like Rolling Stone, GQ and Shape.

"I thought this would be the perfect summer job for me," said Alexandria Brooks, a recent high school graduate from Mississippi. "I had never seen the country, my parents were okay with it and $400 to $750 a week is a lot of money for me."

The lawsuit, which seeks to bar the company from operating in New York and to have its salespeople receive unpaid commissions, accuses the company of deceptive labor practices.

Brooks, 18, quit last month after a six-week stint that took her to Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York. She charges that she never received the promised $500 bonus and the only money she ever got was $20 a day for meals and expenses. "I was like, this isn't the job for me," Brooks said.

A spokesman for Jaguar could not be reached for comment.

No comments: