Dec 14, 2019 - Economy

Instacart workers organize for higher wages

In this illustration, a large digital mouse clicks on a bag of groceries

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios Visuals

Thousands of Instacart contract "shoppers" — who fetch groceries for one of the largest on-demand companies in the gig economy — have gone on strike for higher wages, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Instacart shoppers said their wages were slashed in late 2018 when the company introduced an algorithmic pay system to estimate workers' earnings per job, per the Post.

  • Workers are making more since the company reversed a separate policy in February that used tips to supplement wages after it weathered heavy backlash, the Post reports.

Details: On Nov. 3, thousands of Instacart shoppers joined a three-day strike, according to rough estimates from organizers via Facebook. Some customers deleted the app and called for a boycott, per the Post. A few days later, Instacart announced plans to cut $3 quality bonuses offered for shoppers who received five-star ratings.

Background: Instacart settled a $4.6 million class action lawsuit in 2017 involving allegations of improper tip pooling and failing to reimburse workers for business expenses, which Instacart denied, per Vox.

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