Instacart workers are planning to strike for hand sanitizer and hazard pay

Cornelia Mascio
Марта 29, 2020

Although Instacart shoppers lack numerous advantages of regular employees, the company past year launched a program offering some benefits including accident insurance and access to health plans.

The "Gig Employees Collective" - a gaggle that purportedly represents the employees - introduced the deliberate strike on Medium on Friday, claiming that "Instacart has grew to become this pandemic right into a PR marketing campaign, portraying itself the hero of households which are sheltered-in-place, remoted, or quarantined". It was first reported Friday by Vice.

"Instacart has still not provided essential protections for frontline buyers that could prevent them from becoming carriers, getting sick themselves, or worse", Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective wrote in an article by Medium blog.

Last week, Instacart said it was hiring an additional 300,000 workers to meet the huge spike in demand for shoppers as more users are are complying with stay-at-home orders and not leaving the house. Amazon and Walmart each recently announced they plan to hire at least 100,000 workers due to increased customer demand.

On March 30, buyers will go on strike and will not return to work until their demands are met. Buyers are demanding that Instacart provide personal protective equipment at no cost to workers and an additional $ 5 risk payment per order, change the default tip to 10%, extend the sick pay policy to those who have a note from the doctor for a pre-existing condition that may make them more susceptible to contracting the virus and extend the term to qualify for those benefits beyond April 8. Instacart's shoppers now have up to two weeks of paid sick leave, but only if they test positive for COVID-19. The company introduced sick pay to all its employees across the USA, initiated a new "leave at my door delivery" option, and proposed new health and safety guidelines. After workers made claims, the company extended the deadline to claim these benefits until May 6.

Vanessa Bain, an Instacart worker in California who is one of the lead organizers of Monday's strike, said corporate employees get to work from home, receive life insurance and health insurance, and are given paid time off on top of paid sick and family leave. The company says it is also extending contactless deliveries to alcohol so that buyers no longer need to collect signatures from customers unless explicitly required by the state or retailer. "It's a valuable way for us to continuously make improvements to the shopper experience and we're committed to supporting this important community during this critical time".

Employees who shop for Instacart, which allows customers to order groceries for delivery through a smart phone app, are planning to strike nationwide Monday to demand the company provide better protections amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"The past few weeks have been the busiest in the history of Instacart and our teams have worked tirelessly to serve all members of our community reliably and reliably", said Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta, in a press release last Monday.

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