Instacart's "transparent" new pay structure: underpayment, tip theft, and black-box algorithms

“If customers knew Instacart was using their tips to lower the amount the company has to spend on labor, they would be furious. That's the customers' hard-earned money — they're trying to use it to tip workers in addition to Instacart's pay. They're not tipping so Instacart can pay workers less, they're tipping so workers can make more money. But Instacart is using those tips to pay wages, and it's not OK.”

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"You’re one phone call away from having to drop everything and go to work."

When I worked as a fishmonger at Whole Foods Market they wanted to promote me to associate team leader, a salaried position, but I refused. In the seven years I worked there, I got maximum raises at every evaluation but declined invitations to move up because I knew what those positions were like. The corporation basically owned you. You’re one phone call away from having to drop everything and go to work.

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"As a manager you just stayed to get the work done."

They wanted to save on payroll as much as possible, so if an hourly employee called out sick and you were overtime-exempt, the expectation is that you're going to stay. And you’d be doing literally the same job as the person who called out, and then also your other job. Some hourly person called out sick, and I'm a free body. It was pretty common to be there for 13 hour days.

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