Coronavirus: Instacart employees plan strike over safety fears

Instacart employees plan strike over safety fears regarding coronavirus

Instacart employees are planning to strike Monday over fears that they are exposing themselves to risk of the coronavirus and are not being adequately protected or compensated by their company.

“Instacart has a well established history of exploiting its Shoppers, one that extends years back before our current crisis,” Instacart employees and Gig Workers Collective, an activist organization, wrote in a letter posted on Medium. “Now, its mistreatment of Shoppers has stooped to an all-time low. 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.”

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Employees are asking for an additional $5 on each order and personal protection equipment provided at no cost, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant sprays.

It not unclear how many employees would participate. More than 200,000 people work as shoppers for the company, The New York Times reported.

The company had plans to hire thousands more amid demand for delivery while people are quarantined and isolating.

Instacart announced earlier this week new safety guidelines and said it would increase bonuses for its shoppers and extend sick and quarantine pay.

“The health and safety of our entire community – shoppers, customers and employees – is our highest priority,” the company said in a statement, KNTV reported.

Cashier Baby San wears a face shield and gloves as she scans items at grocery store Super Cao Nguyen, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Oklahoma City, due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Cashier Baby San wears a face shield and gloves as she scans items at grocery store Super Cao Nguyen, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Oklahoma City, due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (Sue Ogrocki/AP)