With the election campaign is full swing, media monitering giant Rehame is squeezing its already lowly paid contractors even further. The moral of the story seems to be: DON’T WORK FOR REHAME.

Rehame squeezes contractors till the pips squeak

Subscriber email August 29

Crikey has banged on before about the tiny pay rates that Rehame contractors get in the regional centres after buying all the necessary media monitoring gear so they can work from home.

At the moment Peter Maher’s mob are pushing its underpaid contractors to cover all things Federal election, so Rehame can really rake in the big bucks.

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However, some contractors are also being shafted at the time as Rehame has decided to recommence bringing regional weekly, bi-weekly and tri-weekly papers in-house using a state-of-the-art OCR scanning software.

Here is the email from Rehame management proving such:

“Good morning everyone, some of you have been asked to stop reporting some of your weekly, bi-weekly and monthly publications as we bring them back in-house. We are currently conducting trials on covering these papers via our new OCR scanning system which exists in each Rehame office across Australia.

“This will be a continual process with more and more papers brought in-house each week. There is no particular time frame for this, it will be predicted through the availability of papers. At this stage it will just be the weekly, bi-weekly and monthly publications. I will be sending more emails out today and the rest of the week to those people who will need to cease certain publications within the next week.”

CRIKEY: Print contractors who earn a pitiful $1 per report, $1 per scan and 25c for a newsworthy item that isn’t sent to a client will be left up the creek without a paddle by this development. After making such a song and dance about embracing contractors over the past year year, Rehame are now slowly weening all papers off contractors, such that they might all be gone by the end of the year. It seems the only thing worse than being a Rehame employee, is being a Rehame contractor.

More Rehame belly-aching
Second subscriber email September 1

For downtrodden Rehame contractors, the resignation letter is often the only way they can express their distress, as this former contractor’s letter reveals:

Hello Anna,

Following our conversation this morning in which I resigned from the company. I would like to mention again that I am not able to report the news today as I have a prior engagement.

Could you please let me know any terms of resignation when you can.

As I stated this morning my reasons for resigning are because I totally disagree with the way that contractors have been treated in respect to withdrawal of their publications. Although I understand that progress will always happen, the cold way in which this was handled, should never be repeated because there are a lot of young people who are learning from this and this is not the way to treat people who have been loyal to the company.

Name withheld

Meanwhile, another disgruntled Rehame contractors tires to drum up some rebellion in his fellow contractors:

Hi to all,

My name is Brad and I am a humble ‘low life’ contractor from the mid north NSW coast. I have been contracting since Christmas and have somehow managed to get by not being a typist, so my hourly rate if you like, would work out to only a few dollars an hour. Our attitude has always been one of “well, it all adds up and pays a bill or two”.

I too feel like I have somewhat sold out to my working class background. If you want any convincing what a scum company they are, go to www.crikey.com (sic) and have a look at what previous employees have to say about Big Pete and his even bigger ego.

Hey, did you get bitter when they increased the minimum wage and we earn half of that for double the hours? If my wife didn’t work (plus help me) we could not get by. If you wonder why I don’t get another job, it is because I had brain surgery last year, so this helps the pension. So many times I have been badgered anywhere and at any time, “We need this scan done, blah, blah,” it gets beyond a joke at times. To do a scan for a buck just isn’t on, the work put in plus costs only just make it viable.

From what I can gather at the moment it is a case of they need us, shortly however, well, don’t expect gold watches. They wont even pay us on Friday if the 11th falls on a weekend! Come on, do you really expect to be there soon? Look, at the moment we should be hitting them for more money! If anyone wants to stick it up them and go down in a blaze of glory, let me know if you have any ideas. I know we’ll only hurt ourselves, but we can make him look like a d*ck for a change. I don’t know much, I know one thing but, nobody will do anything about it and he’ll smell like a rose. Come on let’s have a go slow or something ! Maybe boycott covering political issues! the only fact is we will all be out of work very soon.

CRIKEY: The moral of this story seems to be, look elsewhere for work. Crikey has kept a close eye on Rehame and you can see some of our earlier efforts here:

May 19 2004Media Watch, ABC bias and Rehame
Wasn’t it amusing last night watching one of the most left-leaning ABC shows run the campaign against Howard government-inspired excessive and expensive monitoring of the ABC for political bias in the forthcoming election campaign. Then you have the ridiculous decision to hire Rehame, a company with a long record of legal threats and litigation to resolve massive bills from alleged over-servicing, to conduct the seemingly huge task of providing quantitative and qualitative assessments of bias in ABC news and current affairs reporting from last week’s budget right up until the federal election.

October 28 2003Warnie at the Rehame booze up
He’s back! Shane Warne is in Australia and tomorrow night is the guest of honour at a Rehame wine tasting function. We presume Rehame is the media monitoring company that Warnie signed up to track the hacks and prepare various defamation battles a couple of years back.

October 7 2001An Open Letter to Rehame Management
Crikey has often commented about some of the industrial and professional practices of media monitoring giant Rehame and last week one of the workers they retrenched offered up this interesting insight into life on the factory floor on $12 an hour.

July 1 2001Copyright, Rehame and over-servicing
Media monitoring giant Rehame is getting into more fights with clients around town over alleged over-servicing. And we hear that this could be about to explode into the mass media and the odd courtroom.

May 28 2000The first legal threat against Crikey