Briefing

Instacart ends its bonus program after courier strikes over compensation

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The San Francisco-based grocery delivery company has stopped paying a US$3 quality bonus to couriers every time they receive a five-star rating from customers. The change affects “shoppers”—contract workers who collect groceries and deliver them to customers—in Canada and the U.S. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The change follows a 72-hour strike this week from shoppers demanding the company restore the default tip to 10 per cent after it was slashed in half. The bonus was introduced in October 2018 to incentivize better service, but in a note to shoppers Thursday, Instacart said it wasn’t producing the intended results. The company, which is planning an IPO, is expanding rapidly in Canada. It announced a deal to deliver groceries for Loblaw in 2017 and has Canadian partnerships with Walmart and Staples. But Canadian gig workers are also pushing for more rights. This week, Foodora couriers in Toronto argued for at the Ontario Labour Relations Board for their right to unionize, and Canada’s Supreme Court heard Uber’s appeal against a ruling in favour of an Uber Eats driver’s class-action suit aimed at securing better pay and benefits.