This Week in Rideshare: #DeleteInstacart, Options, and Guarantees.

MONDAY 9/20/21

A group of Instacart gig workers is requesting that all customers who shop on the platform boycott the grocery delivery app to pressure it to improve conditions for workers. Using the hashtag #DeleteInstacart, workers are trying to pressure the company ahead of a rumored IPO, one of the most highly anticipated of the year.

Instacart workers on the platform are demanding a reinstatement of a commission based pay model, the reinstatement of 10 percent default tip, a more transparent system for assigning orders to workers, occupational death benefits, and a rating system that does not punish workers for reasons that are beyond their control, such as inventory issues at a grocery store.

TUESDAY 9/21/21

Shares of the company, which has spent billions over the last few years on growing its business, were up about 8% in early trading on Tuesday following the upbeat profit outlook.

The COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of drivers crushed Uber and smaller rival Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) last year, as most people worked from home or preferred to invest in a car. However, Uber’s food delivery business boomed as more people ordered in.

Uber said on Tuesday it was expecting adjusted EBITDA, a profitability metric it uses, to breakeven in the third quarter. It forecast between a loss of $25 million and a profit of $25 million, compared with the prior forecast of a loss of $100 million.

WEDNESDAY 9/22/21

If Uber becomes a traditional taxi company that owns its cars and pays salaries to its drivers, would it still be Uber?

That’s the question its executives now face as courts across Europe decide on the status of its drivers. With thousands of its drivers pushing to be recognized as employees, a core component of the company’s business — flexible drivers with working flexible hours — is at risk.

Last week, a Dutch judge ruled that Uber drivers should be classified as employees and are entitled to benefits that come with that status. A similar ruling was delivered by the U.K. Supreme Court in February, which reclassified drivers as “workers,” meaning they are entitled to minimum wage, working time protections and holiday pay. More than 100 similar court cases are progressing all over Europe, and while many have sided with Uber, the majority are taking the side of drivers.

THURSDAY 9/23/21

A locally-owned rideshare company is now offering riders the option to choose drivers who are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Holoholo said it’s the first rideshare company to offer this service. The new option is available when booking a ride in the app or website.

“We want all riders to feel safe when riding with holoholo,” CEO Cecil Morton said in a statement. “Giving them the option to ride with a vaccinated driver helps provide our guests with peace of mind.”

FRIDAY 9/24/21

On Thursday, the New York City Council plans proposed legislation designed to improve working conditions and provide better pay, for workers who deliver food through app-based services such as UberEats, and Doordash.

The bills would require restaurant owners to allow delivery staff to use their restrooms. According to The New York Times, Manhattan councilwoman Carlina Rivera overheard that some workers couldn’t use a restroom for hours, and that others were charged fees for using the restaurant bathrooms. As a result, Rivera helped to sponsor the bathroom legislation.

Staff members would also be able to establish boundaries on where they do or don’t feel comfortable traveling. For example, they can express that they don’t want to travel a certain distance. This is especially important since delivery workers often face the risk of being attacked and having their E-Bikes stolen.

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