Dec 14, 2019

Instacart workers organize for higher wages

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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Wages for typical workers are rising at their fastest rate in a decade

Construction workers holding a rally in the Bronx. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wages for nonsupervisory employees — who make up 82% of the workforce — are rising at the fastest rate in more than a decade, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: It indicates that the benefits of a tightening labor market and a time of historically low unemployment rates are finally being passed along to most workers.

Go deeperArrowDec 27, 2019

Uber and Postmates sue California over gig-worker rights law

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Uber and Postmates are suing California over a law set to take effect this week that will provide gig-economy workers with additional employment protections.

Where it stands: The lawsuit was filed in a Los Angeles federal court Monday, and the law is set to take effect Wednesday. One driver from each company joined the suit as plaintiffs, arguing that the measure would breach equal protections provided by the Constitution.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 31, 2019

Bloomberg unveils Trump-focused economic agenda

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg released Wednesday an economic agenda that focuses heavily on helping "the people and communities that have been short-changed by President Trump," per the plan's details, by creating jobs and increasing wages.

Why it matters: It's no secret Trump wants to run his re-election campaign on the economy, but Bloomberg is tapping into a conversation we're hearing from voters all across the country, whether in our focus groups or on the campaign trail: wages aren't keeping up and Trump isn't talking about that.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020