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Enjoy, a delivery startup run by a former Apple exec, recently went public via a SPACmay not be able to pay any money owed to its workers, according to a cache of internal Slack chats and emails received by Motherboard.
Workers began speaking out about Enjoy’s Slack business this week after receiving an email from the company warning that Enjoy might not be able to pay them at the end of the month.
“As Ron informed, we hope that we will be able to get the amounts due to the staff. Unfortunately, given our current liquidity outlook, we are unable to provide any specific assurances at this time,” reads a screenshot of an internal message received by Motherboard. Ron refers to Ron Johnson, CEO and founder of Enjoy and former senior vice president of retail operations at Apple, where He oversaw the launch of retail stores and the company’s Genius Bar. According to Slack reports received by Motherboard, the possible payment issues appear to be affecting Enjoy employees in the UK.
The reams of messages show a workforce generally concerned about not being paid for work already done and possibly losing their jobs as well. The internal message that Enjoy might not be able to pay some workers added: “When there are layoffs, you are not entitled to layoff or termination pay if you quit before you receive the notice.”
“I worry about not being able to pay my bills. Can we please get some clarity on the financial situation?” a Slack message begins from a worker. “If Enjoy is actually operating at a loss, then [sic] We should turn off the faucet before it gets any worse and allow everyone who was part of the UK branch to receive their debt in good time. I hope the leadership will finally take a stand and reassure us all once and for all. It’s really emotionally draining. Thanks for your consideration.” The screenshots received by Motherboard are from Slack channels, which contain messages posted by a variety of people.
Do you work at Enjoy? We’d love to hear from you. If you use a phone or computer outside of work, you can safely contact Joseph Cox via Signal at +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr via josephcox, OTR chat via [email protected]or E-Mail [email protected].
Enjoy and Johnson have enjoyed prominent coverage in The Wall Street Journal and the company has raised hundreds of millions of dollars. It went public in October 2021 through a SPAC.
Enjoy is a mix of a delivery service and a technical support team. It operates so-called “mobile retail stores” for telecom companies in the US, UK and Canada. When a customer wants a product from one of these companies, instead of a box arriving at the front door, Enjoy sends an employee to the customer’s house with a selection of products. If the customer buys something or has already ordered an item online, Enjoy helps the customer set up the new device. These workers are called “experts” and have been hired by already established retailers like Apple and Tesla. The Wall Street Journal written down in its reporting.
The goal is to “bring the full store experience through the door,” Johnson said says in a video by Enjoy that explains his offer. In the video, Johnson says he came up with the idea for Enjoy after watching Uber and Airbnb. “Maybe we could bring the entire retail business to your door.”
The company is currently focused on telecoms and electronics, but the video highlights other sectors Enjoy could target next, including home fitness, vehicles, tailoring and makeup. In the video, Johnson described Enjoy as “the next disruption in commerce.”
Internally, Enjoy faces its own waves of disruption.
“We’re all guessing and trying not to let the rumor mill get out of hand,” an Enjoy employee told Motherboard. Motherboard granted anonymity to several sources in this article to be more open about internal Enjoy issues.
“I’m going to the gym tomorrow after checking in. shoulders and back. Then sauna. Unless there’s clarity on payment,” another expert wrote in an internal Slack message.
“Workers have gone on strike for less,” added another. Another asked what they said was a very simple question: “In the UK, do we at least get paid for all the work we’ve done?”
Someone else posted the hashtag #AreWeGettingPaid30thJune.
earlier this month, the company’s interim chief financial officer resigned. In its quarterly report published in May, Enjoy stated that it was considering a sale or other alternatives such as filing for bankruptcy or initiating liquidation. Enjoy the share was down 50 percent in May. While this is a dramatic drop, stocks in general are suffering and several tech companies are laying off employees.
For its experts, Enjoy has been largely silent, as many of the internal Slack messages requested more information from the company.
Enjoy did not respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.
Ironically, in his video, Johnson lists some of the ways in which Enjoy maintains high standards. The third item on the list, after hiring “great people,” is “You must pay them fairly.”
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