Combining delivery, PiPress and Strib get cozier

It’s a pretty fair bet that few people are going to feel sorry for the change that might’ve presented itself on your doorstep today.

Starting today, the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune have combined home delivery operations, with the Pioneer Press circulation system handling delivery of the Star Tribune, Wall St. Journal, and New York Times.

MPR colleague Tim Nelson posted this message from his carrier.

Economically, it makes great sense… for the newspapers. For the carrier on the short end, not so much.

Delivering newspapers, as I pointed out in this post from 2008, is one of the most scandalous labor scenes in the region. People on the margin work under questionable conditions, which will never be covered by a newspaper. But it also occurs in the darkness while most of us are sleeping. We grab the paper on the doorstep — or the driveway — and think little about how it got there.

From Tim’s carrier note, some of the carriers are now out of work. Pity.

Pioneer Press carriers don’t get any days off. They’re required to work seven days a week. It was one of the realities that made the Star Tribune a more reasonable alternative for people.

When the Minneapolis newspaper filed bankruptcy in 2009, it combined delivery operations with the Pioneer Press in western Wisconsin, so the latest move shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

The Star Tribune started printing the Pioneer Press last year.