Gig Economy

Instacart Shoppers Demand Better Tips, Elimination Of Fees


Two organizations, the Tech Workers Coalition and Gig Workers Rising, protested on Tuesday morning (Nov. 12) outside Instacart headquarters in San Francisco over compensation for its shoppers, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The organizations want Instacart to bring back a $3 quality bonus, set default tipping at 10 percent instead of 5 percent and get rid of service fees.

Instacart jettisoned the $3 quality bonus just after a 72-hour strike by workers who wanted better compensation. Protestors are hoping that by showing up at the company’s headquarters, they can convince workers to join them.

“We’re asking that Instacart employees urge management to reverse this decision,” organizers wrote in a handout to Instacart workers. “As a worker who builds the product, you have a say over how it’s used.”

Instacart said that it was focused on giving its shoppers an ability to earn upfront pay and guaranteed minimums. 

“We respect the voices of all shoppers and take the feedback of our community very seriously,” an Instacart spokesperson said in a statement to the news outlet. “We will continue to listen and engage with shoppers to improve their experience.”

The grocery delivery company removed the tipping option in 2016 and said it was going to guarantee workers larger commissions, but brought back tipping around a month later due to worker pressure.

In April of last year, it started defaulting to a 5 percent tip and lowered its service fee from a 10 percent waivable fee to a 5 percent fixed one.

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

The company also faces a class-action suit over the issue of tipping and wages, when Instacart was involved in a scandal where it was discovered that instacart was using shoppers tips to calculate base pay, a practice which the company said it has stopped doing.

The protest has caught the attention of California Assemblyperson Lorena Gonzalez, who brought the gig worker bill AB 5 to fruition.


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