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Instacart workers plan to go on strike Monday

The paid shoppers have laid out a list of demands

(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Instacart workers paid to shop and deliver groceries and supplies to have announced a plan to go on strike starting Monday, saying the company is putting them at risk and exploiting them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shoppers have set forth a list of demands the company must meet before the strike is lifted.

What are the details?

The "Gig Workers Collective" — a group that purportedly represents the workers — announced the planned strike on Medium on Friday, claiming that "Instacart has turned this pandemic into a PR campaign, portraying itself the hero of families that are sheltered-in-place, isolated, or quarantined."

In its statement, the collective asserted that the company "has still not provided essential protections to Shoppers on the front lines that could prevent them from becoming carriers, falling ill themselves, or worse."

The workers set forth the following demands for Instacart to meet, threatening otherwise to walk off the job on Monday:

  1. Safety precautions at no cost to workers — [personal protective equipment] (at minimum hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/spray and soap).
  2. Hazard pay — an extra $5 per order and defaulting the in-app tip amount to at least 10% of order total.
  3. An extension and expansion of pay for workers impacted by COVID-19 — anyone who has a doctor's note for either a preexisting condition that's a known risk factor or requiring a self-quarantine.
  4. The deadline to qualify for these benefits must be extended beyond April 8th.
The strike threat comes as demand for grocery delivery is through the roof, after many states and municipalities have placed residents under stay-at-home orders and the federal government has recommended social distancing measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
On March 9, Instacart rolled out new benefits to its shoppers, saying they recognize the contributions and importance of their workers during this critical time. The company introduced sick pay to all its employees across the U.S., initiated a new "leave at my door delivery" option, and proposed new health and safety guidelines.
Then, on Friday, Instacart announced new bonus payments of anywhere from "$25 to $200 to in-store shoppers based on their hours worked between March and April 15," The Hill reported.
The Gig Workers Collective told the outlet the strike was still on. "This response is simply not enough," the group told The Hill. "They're saying they're committed to our health and safety but still not addressing it."
"All they gave us was one demand," the purported spokesperson added. "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."
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