The Google Express is switching tracks, as it were, shutting down on-demand delivery hubs in San Francisco and Mountain View as reports Re/code. The move to restructure comes just as a battle to unionize Google Express subcontractors heats up, one which the Weekly has been covering consistently. The timing won't be welcomed by jilted workers who may have feared just such an outcome, and it perhaps reflects an impulse on the part of Google — or, should we say, Alphabet — to part ways with contractors who seek employment and rely instead on existing on-demand startups.
Customers of Google Express, née Google Shopping Express, pay $95 a year or $10 a month for deliveries from various stores and suppliers. A perceived attempt to compete with Amazon, the service lost a top executive this year, Tom Fallows, and then the executive in charge of all commerce, Sameer Samat. Express exists in seven cities, but the Bay Area is the only one in which Google went with a hub model.
According to sources to Re/code, Google wants to outsource delivery to other on-demand startups — perhaps such as Postmates, Flywheel, and maybe even on-demand newcomer Uber which began delivering meals in San Francisco this week and which delivers other items in other cities.
Meanwhile, a vote among the workers of Adecco, the staffing agency which has around 140 people staffing Google's Palo Alto, filed for a union election last month and were planning to vote on the subject this week.