Instacart workers threaten strike over coronavirus pay, protections

Instacart workers threaten strike over coronavirus pay, protections

According to a Vice report, nearly 200,000 gig workers employed under grocery delivery service Instacartare being denied basic amenities such as hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, and soap.

"Shoppers have had enough".

This is all after Instacart announced that it would bring in 300,000 other independent contractors to keep up with the lawsuit that has resulted from many Americans staying home during the pandemic. (Amazon warehouse workers in the US and overseas have also staged wildcat strikes recently to protest working conditions amid the pandemic.) Vanessa Bain, a California Instacart shopper leading the strike, pointed out the disparity between full-time Instacart employees staying at home with full benefits and gig workers who are risking their health.

Instacart The buyers, led by the folks at the Gig Workers Collective, are planning a nationwide strike to protest the company's practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice First reported.

Workers, however, argue the qualifications for pay protections are too narrow and purposefully exclude many who need assistance.


Safety precautions at no cost to workers - [personal protective equipment] (at minimum hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/spray and soap).

Expand pay protections for workers impacted by COVID-19 to include anyone who has a doctor's note for either a pre-existing condition that's a known risk factor or requiring a self-quarantine. After workers made claims, the company extended the deadline to claim these benefits until May 6.

"The health and safety of our entire community - shoppers, customers, and employees - is our first priority", Instacart said in response to an AFP inquiry. "Our goal is to offer a safe and flexible profit opportunity to buyers, while proactively taking the appropriate precautionary measures to operate safely". Amazon and Walmart each recently announced they plan to hire at least 100,000 workers due to increased customer demand.

"We want to underscore that we absolutely respect the rights of shoppers to provide us feedback and voice their concerns", Instacart said in an emailed statement to the Daily Dot on Friday. "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".

Instacart shoppers, who are braving stores amid stay-at-home orders and often delivering food to sick people in quarantine, have been hailed as "household heroes" by the company during the crisis.

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