Instacart workers are planning a strike Monday, claiming the grocery delivery service is “neglecting the basic well-being of its 150,000+ drivers” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter published in Medium, the workers – called Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective – say they’ve been pleading with Instacart to take proper safety precautions and have been ignored.
“On Monday, March 30, Shoppers will walk off of our jobs, and will not return to work until our demands are met,” they wrote. “We will not continue to work under these conditions. We will not risk our safety, our health, or our lives for a company that fails to adequately protect us, fails to adequately pay us, and fails to provide us with accessible benefits should we become sick.”
The employees are asking the company to provide hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/sprays and soap, hazard pay of an extra $5 per order plus a required minimum tip of 10% of the order total, and for people with pre-existing health conditioned be counted in the company’s 14-day paid sick leave policy.
“For the past several weeks, Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective have been urging Instacart to take proper safety precautions. We have been ignored,” they wrote. “Instead, Instacart has turned this pandemic into a PR campaign, portraying itself the hero of families that are sheltered-in-place, isolated, or quarantined.”
Instacart said in a statement to CBS News that their first priority is “the health and safety of our entire community – shoppers, customers, and employees.”
But the workers say, “They are putting us directly in harm’s way while profiting greatly. We cannot let this be considered normal.”