While the gig economy was once advertised as conveniently earning a bit of party money on the side, it has not-so-slowly turned into the 21st equivalent of standing around at the shipyard hoping they'll pay you a ha'penny to unload the steamer from Antwerp so you can afford to feed your children. Except that now, that toothy blowjob you're giving the foreman for preferential treatment better come with a free smile, as companies like Target demand utter and unwavering gratitude from their gig workers.
In 2017, Target acquired Shipt, the app that lets the rich and busy pay folks to help get their groceries. But the supermarket corporation didn't spend over half of a billion dollars acquiring the concept of a bagboy to get any kind of talkback from its new serfs. Speaking to Vice, several ex and current Shipt contractors claim that workers talking Shipt in any negative way will get them put on a Shipt list and can easily get them Shipt-canned. The company tightly monitors all social media activity, having corporate moderators make sure Shipt shoppers don't post anything "except for the super syrupy stuff." Target also won't hesitate to "deactivate" its corporate drones for generating any kind of negative buzz, which includes complaining about the poor pay, helping each other out (clearly the first step to inciting unionization) or even making fun of Shipt's expensive new logo because it looks like someone got shoulder-checked while trying to draw the copyright symbol.
Target CorporationIn fact, bootlicking seem to be at the core of Shipt's business model. Target also replaced its clear and fair commission-based payment system with the capricious and terrible god of gig work, the Algorithm, which has cut some cities' workers' earnings
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