"Basically, they were devastated about how much money they were losing," Solis said.
People were seeing their total pay drop 25 to 50% without a clear sense of the formula that was being used to determine the pay ranges, Solis said.
That is why he has helped organize Wednesday's "walk off" when the workers will not accept orders.
Shipt's new payment structure takes into account factors such as estimated drive time, the number of items in the order and peak shopping windows to calculate pay. Shipt workers are currently paid on a model that is based mostly on a percentage of the total cost for the retail order.
Under the new system, Shipt said workers would be paid more if the order total was the same but had more items to collect than another one. The algorithm also takes into account delivery during rush hour as opposed to a shorter drive time in off hours.
Shipt does not publicly share its exact payment formula, but the delivery company says compensation is different by metro area.
The problem for Solis and others is that they don't know how much each element is being weighed, lessening transparency. In March, Solis drove to the San Antonio area, where the new payment structure was already being tested, and fulfilled some orders to see for himself how significant the pay drop would be.
"Sure enough, I took some orders and in taking those orders I saw the pay difference," Solis said.
Shipt said there had been some reports of low pay ranges in markets where the company has initially tested the updated pay model, but they were the result of a "technical issue" that has been fixed.
It's hard to tell how many Shipt workers in the Twin Cities will participate in Wednesday's walk off. A Facebook group for local Shipt workers showed only a handful discussing the changes, with posters emphasizing the changes would not happen in Minnesota yet.
In April, Shipt workers staged another "walk off" to demand hazard pay and more immediate access to face masks and other protective gear. Some shoppers also participated in a second "walk off" on May Day. Shipt gave out bonuses in early April and early May to its most active shoppers.
(Staff writer Liz Sawyer contributed to this report.)
(c)2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.