Instacart workers set to strike Monday

Instacart workers set to strike Monday
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Instacart shoppers are set to have a nationwide walk off Monday over the grocery delivery service's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The shoppers will stop accepting deliveries until Instacart provides cleanliness products at no cost to workers, hazard pay of $5 per order and an extension and expansion of pay for workers affected by the coronavirus.

"This is an extraordinary time in history, and as Shoppers, those of us who are able — and have the means to protect ourselves — do want to help those in our community by delivering groceries and supplies," shoppers wrote in a Medium post issued with labor activism group Gig Workers Collective. 

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"But with Instacart neglecting the basic wellbeing of its 150,000+ drivers, we believe there is no choice but to not only walk off, but to raise awareness to the company’s practices," the post reads.

Demand for grocery delivery has exploded as more states and cities recommend individuals stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus. Instacart last week announced it would hire 300,000 new gig workers over the next three months to match that demand.

Up until now the company has worked on securing hand sanitizer and offered 14 days of paid leave for those diagnosed with COVID-19 or mandated to quarantine. 

Instacart's gig workers say that pledge is insufficient because of the dearth of available tests and its April 8 deadline.

On Friday, the company announced it would extend the paid leave deadline and dole out bonus payments between $25 and $200 to in-store shoppers based on hours worked between March and April 15. Shoppers will also no longer be required to collect signatures for alcohol deliveries.

"The health and safety of our entire community — shoppers, customers, and employees — is our first priority," an official for Instacart told The Hill.

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Despite those policy changes, the walk off is still scheduled.

"This response is simply not enough — they're saying they're committed to our health and safety but still not addressing it. In order to keep ourselves and our customers safe, we need proper safety precautions put in place. PPE is essential right now," an official for the Gig Worker Collective told The Hill, referring to personal protective equipment.

"All they gave us was 1 demand — extending their COVID-19 policy by one month. But they still haven't expanded their policy to include workers who are either too high-risk to work or requiring a self-quarantine," the official added.

The coronavirus pandemic has put many of America's gig workers in precarious situations.

The coronavirus relief package set to be signed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE may give them some relief by allowing self-employed workers to apply for unemployment benefits that they would otherwise be ineligible for.