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Instacart to Cut 1,900 Jobs, Including Its Only Union Roles

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Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg
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Instacart Inc. is cutting about 1,900 employees’ jobs, including 10 workers who recently formed a union, as the company seeks to boost its ranks of contract workers.

The grocery delivery company already classifies most of its workers as independent contractors, whose numbers have ballooned to more than 500,000 during the coronavirus pandemic. But starting in 2015, the company hired a small subset of workers as employees, who under U.S. law are entitled to protections like minimum wage and can be subject to more direction and training by their boss. “What we found is that our shoppers require training and supervision, which is how you improve the quality of the picking,” Instacart Chief Executive Officer Apoorva Mehta said at the time. “You can’t do that when they are independent contractors.”