The Seattle Times reports that Target plans to suspend deliveries by its Shipt service in Seattle this month, a reaction to new ordinances passed by the City Council.
Those ordinances were designed to protect gig workers, requiring minimum pay and paid sick time off.
However, Target says that those ordinances "impose challenges for Shipt to remain compliant while providing quality service … Shipt’s pause on Seattle deliveries begins Jan. 10. Annual and monthly members can cancel and get a refund based on the time remaining on their membership, Shipt said in an email to customers on Wednesday."
Shipt offers same-day delivery from retailers including Target, Costco, CVS, Office Depot and Petco.
- KC's View:
It'll be interesting to see how customers react to this decision by Target/Shipt - do they put pressure on local politicians to roll back the protections, or do they tell the retailer that if it wants their business, they expect it to do right by gig employees?
It also remains to be seen how Seattle's gig workers respond. Are they going to resent regulations that at least in the short term hit them in the pocketbook? Will they play the long game, assuming that at some point Target will have to end the suspension of Shipt deliveries in order to stay competitive?
And then, as these things play out, does the scenario spread to other communities?
I'm sympathetic to the idea that gig workers ought to have certain protections, but I'm not sure how the ideal will be realized on the ground.