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Employees Tell Instacart To Improve Protection And Give Hazard Pay Or Face Strike Action

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Several employees of online grocery delivery start-up, Instacart are planning a strike over demands for better protection amid the coronavirus pandemic.


As many as 200,000 workers will be participating in the strike action unless Instacart meets their demands for improved equipment and hazard pay.


A non-profit known as Gig Workers Collective and Instacart Shoppers are organising the strike.


The employees say the company has not provided them with supplies to protect them during the coronavirus pandemic.


“Instacart has still not provided essential protections to Shoppers on the front lines that could prevent them from becoming carriers, falling ill themselves, or worse,” Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective wrote in a Medium blog post.


Instacart has approximately 200,000 shoppers. It also announced plans to add 300,000 in the next three months.


The planned strike comes amid increased demand as more people stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic; they are now more reliant on grocery delivery services to avoid going out for groceries in public spaces.

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“They are profiting astronomically off of us literally risking our lives, all while refusing to provide us with effective protection, meaningful pay and meaningful benefits,” the statement further read.


Instacart Employees
Instacart’s employees are demanding better worker safety or they’ll go on strike. Photo: Instacart.


The workers are demanding that the company supply them with personal protection equipment. This includes hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, sprays, and soap.


The workers also demand hazard pay to the tune of an extra $5 per order. In addition, they want the default of the in-app tip to be at least 10 percent of the order total. They also want an expansion of pay for workers affected by Covid-19.

Instacart claims to respect the rights of all shoppers

In response to the strike, Instacart says it’s working “proactively” to take “precautionary” measures to operate safely.


“The health and safety of our entire community — shoppers, customers, and employees — is our first priority. We want to underscore that we absolutely respect the rights of shoppers to provide us feedback and voice their concerns,” an Instacart spokeswoman said.


The company said it had secured hand sanitisers for its workers and that it would extend its 14-day paid leave policy of hourly employees and full-service shoppers who have Covid-19 or are placed in isolation to 8th May 2020.


Instacart will also offer a bonus payment of $25 to $200 for some of its employees. This will be based on the number of hours they work from 15th March to 15th April 2020.


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