Gig Economy

Instacart Gig Workers Plan Protest Over Wages, Fees

Instacart Gig Workers Plan Protest Over Wages

From Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, Instacart shoppers are planning to protest the delivery company, according to reports. The protesters have three demands: The want Instacart to change the default tip amount from 5 percent to 10 percent, they want the company to get rid of its service fee and they want Instacart to give the entire tip to the shopper.

“We did not arrive at the 10 percent figure arbitrarily; rather, this is what the default tip amount was back when I and many others started working for Instacart,” Vanessa Bain, an Instacart shopper, said on Medium. “We are simply demanding the restoration of what was originally promised.”

The protest follows a class-action lawsuit against Instacart over compensation, as well as a fiasco where Instacart included tips in a worker’s base pay. Instacart stopped that practice and gave shoppers back pay, although tips have been going down lately for shoppers.

“We take the feedback of the shopper community very seriously and remain committed to listening to and using that feedback to improve their experience,” an Instacart spokesperson said.

In California, the gig worker protection bill AB-5 was recently passed, making it more difficult for gig companies like Uber and Instacart to classify its employees as 1099 independent contractors. The law, which goes into effect in January, was passed due to workers showing up in force and protesting.

The Instacart protest outlines three key ways for shoppers to get involved. One way is for workers to sign up for as many hours as they can during the protest period, but also keep letting the batches time out. Another way is to not sign up for hours at all, and not accepting any on-demand orders.

“Despite loyalty to Instacart and the customers we’ve gotten to know over the years, many of us have been forced to find other gigs to make ends meet,” Bain wrote. “But not all shoppers are so lucky or even have the ability to be so fluid with their careers or their time. A large portion of the working body are single parents, caregivers, are disabled or have other conditions or obligations that would make getting other work difficult or impossible. Instacart is highly aware of this and weaponizes this fact against us when turning the pay dials lower and lower.”

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