Instacart buyers plan to strike over corona virus protection

Mar 29, 2020 12:25 AM ET

Instacart, a technology company that uses an app to deliver groceries and other household items, is planning a nationwide strike on Monday. The company has not provided them with any supplies to protect them from infection during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is unclear how many employees could go on strike. The company has approximately 200,000 customers and plans to add 300,000 over the next three months.

The buyers are independent contractors who can work as little or as much as they want. On average, they shop less than 10 hours a week, according to the company, which works with more than 350 retailers, including Costco, CVS Pharmacy, Petco, Target and Wegmans.

The planned strike is due to the fact that more and more people are staying at home during the pandemic and relying on food delivery services to avoid visits to public spaces such as supermarkets.

in the In an announcement from the Gig Workers Collective, a group of activists, Instacart employees said that “the company’s abuse of buyers has dropped to an all-time low”.

“They are astronomically benefiting from the fact that we are literally risking our lives while refusing to provide us with effective protection, wages and benefits,” the announcement said.

Instacart employees require the company to provide personal protective equipment such as hand disinfectants, disinfectant wipes, sprays and soap.

Employees have requested a payment in danger – an additional $ 5 per order – and a default setting for the in-app tip of at least 10 percent of the total order. They are also aiming to increase pay for workers affected by Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Customers’ earnings vary depending on how many batches they want to buy. The company is committed to a revenue structure that offers upfront payments and guaranteed minimum wages that can vary between $ 7 and $ 10 per batch, depending on the market, and doesn’t include customer tips.

The company this month announced new policies and guidelines to support the health and safety of its customers during the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has caused more than 1,800 deaths and more than 100,000 infections in the United States.

The company said it has secured hand sanitizers for workers and will extend its 14-day paid vacation policy to hourly employees and full-service buyers who have Covid-19 or are isolated until May 8.

The company also announced plans to offer a $ 25 to $ 200 bonus payment to select employees based on the hours worked from March 15 to April 15.

“The health and safety of our entire community – buyers, customers and employees – is our top priority,” said a company spokeswoman. “We would like to underline that we absolutely respect the rights of buyers to give us feedback and express their concerns.”

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