Local paper does negative story on Instacart & Independent Contractors

Austin Bob

Dec 15, 2018
What City & State do you work in?
San Antonio
Just saw an article in a small town paper with a surprsing twist. They're reporting on the fact that Instacart has just come to the Monadnock Region of Massachusetts (okay, I've never heard of it either!), but their take on the story was surprisingly un-positive. Most news reports don't ever look at the worker side of the equation in these stories. They focus on the great benefits to consumers.

They interviews an Instacart worker who said when she originally started with them they paid her a base hourly wage even when she was waiting on orders. She said they took that away recently and now she only gets paid from individual orders without any additional compensation for her time - which can often be considerable given that she has to wait a long time in between jobs.

Well, newsflash for workers... they are never going to pay you for your waiting time, because they could never charge enough to customers to make that possible. Customers simply will not pay what it really costs to have their things delivered. They'll simply never do it.

This worker they interviewed said she was making $350 a week when they guaranteed her an hourly wage. Now she's barely making $50 a week! Which tells us Instacart was subsidizing her pay (over and above what customers were willing to pay) by $300 a week. Obviously they can't keep doing that forever. So the question is - who will give up first, the workers or the company. People aren't going to work (for long) for the wages they can get. And the company can't afford to pay them the wages they'll work for - for very long either.