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Vons To Replace LA Grocery Delivery Employees With DoorDash Drivers

The DoorDash food delivery app seen on February 27, 2020, the day the company began the process of going public. (Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images)
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Vons delivery drivers in the L.A. area will lose their jobs next month as the grocery store company cuts employee positions in favor of app-based contract drivers.

Last month, the company began notifying its current drivers that their positions will be eliminated. Starting Feb. 27, online Vons orders in the L.A. area will be fulfilled by DoorDash drivers, who do not have the same benefits or legal protections as employees.

Vons driver Glenn Vidrio said delivery employees have been risking their health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure customers get their groceries safely. He told us:

“We did it during a global pandemic for a year straight. And right at the end, when you feel that there's a light at the end of the tunnel with this pandemic, why are we being shunned this way?”

In an emailed statement, a representative of Albertsons — the corporate owner of Vons — said, “This decision will allow us to compete in the growing home delivery market more effectively.”
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In recent months, current Vons delivery drivers had been in discussions with the United Food and Commercial Workers about joining the union that represents in-store employees.

UFCW Local 770 representatives said they now plan to file a formal information request with Vons to clarify how the move could affect the health and safety of in-store union members required to work in tandem with DoorDash drivers, who may not have the same level of training.

Union drivers employed by other grocery chains will not be affected by the Vons decision, but labor representatives say the company’s move is part of a trend toward replacing stable employee jobs with precarious contract positions.

Last November, California voters passed Proposition 22, a measure that overrode state employment law to preserve contractor status for app-based rideshare and delivery drivers.

UFCW organizer Sam Christian said Prop. 22 was a blow for employee protections in California. “I think it made it easier for Vons and Albertsons to outsource that work,” she said.

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