From November 3-5, thousands of Instacart Shoppers nationwide participated in a 72 hour strike. Workers demanded that “Instacart restore the default tip amount to at least 10%, add back the quality bonus, and remove the confusing ‘service fee’ which the company pockets for themselves.”
They were ignored. Instacart chose not to acknowledge the strike and its’ workers in any way during and since the 72 hour strike.
Today, mere days after the nationwide strike, Instacart emailed Instacart shoppers announcing that they will “no longer be offering the quality bonus beginning next week.” Previously, a quality bonus of $3 was granted from Instacart for each five star rating shoppers received from customers. Instacart maintains that the quality bonus did not meaningfully improve quality and thus the company was choosing to end this practice. Workers are dubious that this is the true reason as the announcement was made just two days after the first workers strike by Instacart shoppers.
For shoppers, losing the quality bonus will be devastating: “This is a cruel pay cut and we believe it’s in retaliation to workers organizing. And because Instacart says we’re independent contractors we have no recourse. The quality bonus is important because the minimum batch guarantee nationally is only $7. Even when shopping for a single customer, a single $3 quality bonus can increase our earnings by up to 42%. We’re sick to death of the way Instacart is treating us. We need a union as quickly as possible so that they won’t be able to get away with stuff like this anymore, and we need the State to enforce AB 5.” Vanessa Bain, Instacart shopper for four years.
Instacart quality bonus changes
This is not the first time Instacart has attempted to take additional profit from shoppers. Most recently, in February of 2019, Instacart was forced to return misappropriated tips to shoppers following the outcry from shoppers and customers alike.
While the company is valued at $7 billion, shoppers average $7.66 an hour, a far cry from a livable wage for shoppers in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Once again, Instacart has chosen to line corporate pockets instead of ensuring humane working conditions such as a livable wage and transparency on company policy.
Gig Workers Rising (GWR) is a California based campaign that supports drivers and other app workers.