In the gig economy, getting paid is half the battle. Instacart, an online grocery delivery service, is the latest of the food delivery apps to face backlash from workers, many of whom claim their earnings have dropped by as much as 50% in just the last year alone.
How did we get here? As Vice explains, Instacart used to include a default 10% tip for the worker who shops for and delivers your groceries. In 2016, that default tip was slashed to only 5%, a move that has had significant negative impact on the company’s 130,000 workers. Instacart workers staged a national strike in November 2019 to demand that the 10% default tip be restored, but instead of meeting this demand, the company responded by completely removing another crucial component of workers’ earnings: the $3 quality bonus awarded for each five-star review from a customer.
This week, Instacart workers published a Medium post laying out several instances in which the company has reduced worker pay. “Our fight against Instacart’s corporate cruelty continues,” it read, “and we are making significant headway in bringing Instacart’s actions to light.”
The workers are calling for the general public to tweet in solidarity on Monday, January 20, with the hashtag #DeleteInstacart. The Medium post emphasizes that this demonstration is only an effort to restore the previous norm: “This current protest only has one small demand— to raise the app’s default tip amount back to 10%.”