In the blog post referring to the layoffs, the company said it had tested new workflows with its business partners. One of these is called Partner Pick. With Partner Pick, grocery store employees, instead of Instacart buyers, use the company’s technology stack to prepare customer orders. “As a result of some grocers transitioning to a partner selection model, we will be reducing our in-store operations at some stores over the coming months,” the company said in the post.
Naturally, the company was criticized for the decision. “Instacart is laying off the company’s only union workers and destroying the jobs of nearly 2,000 dedicated frontline workers amid this public health crisis is just plain wrong,” said Marc Perrone, president of United Foods and Commercial Workers. Instacart was one of the companies that spent millions last year to be successful Prop 22 in California. The voting measure was intended to slice up the state’s AB5 law and prevent it from classifying workers in the odd-job economy as employees of the companies they work for.