Home / Tech / Instacart workers are planning to strike until the company gives them hazard pay and safety gear

Instacart workers are planning to strike until the company gives them hazard pay and safety gear

BOSTON, MA - MAY 28: Owen Amsler, an Instacart shift captain, shops for a customer in the Whole Foods Market in Boston's South End on May 28. 2015. A company called Instacart sends people into stores like Whole Foods to fulfill grocery delivery orders from other people. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

  • Instacart workers are planning to strike on Monday until the company gives them hazard pay and safety gear. 
  • The workers are asking the company for an additional $5 per order and an automatic tip of 10% of the order total. 
  • They’re also asking for safety gear like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and soap. 
  • The group is requesting expanded paid leave for workers with a preexisting condition or those who require a self-quarantine. 
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Instacart workers are planning to strike on Monday until the grocery delivery company meets their demands for provisions like hazard pay and safety equipment. 

The workers are asking Instacart for an additional $5 per order and a default tip of at least 10% per order, they said in a statement, along with the Gig Workers Collective. 

“For the past several weeks, Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective have been urging Instacart to take proper safety precautions,” the statement said. “We have been ignored.”

The group is also asking Instacart for safety provisions like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and soap, as well as expanded paid leave for people with preexisting conditions or those who are required to self-quarantine. They’re seeking an extension of the paid leave past April 8, when they said it is set to expire. 

“Instacart has turned this pandemic into a PR campaign, portraying itself the hero of families that are sheltered-in-place, isolated, or quarantined,” the group said. “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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The strike comes as Instacart seeks to hire 300,000 additional workers to deliver groceries to people during the coronavirus epidemic. 

“The last few weeks have been the busiest in Instacart’s history,” Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said in a blog post on Monday announcing the hirings.

Vanessa Bain, one of the strike’s leaders, told Vice’s Motherboard, which first reported the strike, that while Instacart’s corporate employees have “health insurance, life insurance, and paid time off… [gig workers] are afforded none of these protections.” 

“Without [us], Instacart will grind to a halt,” she said. “We deserve and demand better.” 

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