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What is Instacart Strike? – Demands, Instacart Buyers and Workers, and More

What is Instacart Strike? – Demands, Instacart Buyers and Workers, and More

Instacart Strike

At Instacart strike, a grocery purchase and delivery service, workers began a nationwide strike in the United States.

Today to protest the company’s refusal to protect them and provide them with a risk payment during the coronavirus pandemic. They have promised not to work again until the company complies with their demands. Instacart employs more than 150,000 workers nationwide.

The planned strike is part of a national and international struggle by workers to demand safe conditions, including strikes and protests by Amazon workers, public transportation and cleaning workers, and workers in the auto, steel, and meat processing industries.

Amazon workers on Staten Island plan to go on strike Monday, and workers at Amazon-owned Whole Foods plan to go on strike Tuesday.

The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for purchase and delivery services, as many people remain at home or in quarantine. Last week, Instacart announced plans to hire 300,000 new workers over the next three months to meet this demand.

Instacart workers in the US go on strike across the country.

Instacart workers (or “buyers,” as the company calls them) have been demanding for weeks that the company institute the most elementary security measures:

  • “We don’t feel safe at work, and we don’t feel like we have the tools to keep customers safe,” said Ashley, a full-time shopper in Washington who is participating in the strike.
  • “The buyers I know who are not sick are certainly not in their best mental state. It’s a very dehumanizing and exhausting job right now. “
  • “Instacart has yet to provide essential protections to front-line shoppers that could prevent them from becoming carriers of the virus, getting sick or worse,” the Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers collective said in a statement posted to Medium on Friday.
  • “They are benefiting astronomically from us, literally risking our lives, all while refusing to provide us with effective protection, significant pay, and significant benefits.”
  • “They have not offered us any cleaning products or funds to buy those products,” said Sarah, a shopper participating in the strike.
  • “We have not been given any real information on the best way to take precautions. They are doing the bare minimum and making it difficult for those diagnosed with COVID-19 to get paid time off. “

The Instacart strike focuses on four demands

Buyers require Instacart to provide them with protective supplies such as hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and soap at no cost:

  • They need an additional $ 5 per order as a risk payment and a default tip of 10 percent of the total order.
  • They demand “an extension and expansion of compensation for workers affected by COVID-19.
  • Anyone who has a doctor’s note for a pre-existing condition that is a known risk factor or requires self-quarantine,” according to Friday’s statement. Finally, they demand that the company extend the deadline to qualify for these benefits beyond April 8.
  • On Friday, after buyers announced today’s stoppage. Instacart extended its offer to provide 14 days of pay to any worker diagnosed with COVID-19 through May 8. It also announced bonuses for individual employees, based on the number of hours worked. However, the company did not agree to provide the risk payment or even the most basic protective supplies.
  • “Instacart’s response to our demands is insubstantial and does nothing to protect us,” worker Vanessa Bain responded in a tweet. “To grant a demand is too little, too late. They can ‘go kick rocks.’ Our call for an emergency stoppage continues ”.
  • The strike announcement itself exposed the insincerity of Instacart’s promises to compensate sick employees.
  • “Instacart’s promise to pay buyers up to 14 days’ compensation if diagnosed or placed in mandatory quarantine not only falls short; it is not even keeping.
  • Instacart knows that it is virtually impossible to meet their requirements and is ignoring buyers’ pleas for more substantial and preventive help. ”Said the statement from the Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective.

Instacart Buyers and Workers

Many Instacart buyers are workers that the company classifies as independent contractors. According to a former buyer, they do not guarantee a minimum wage:

  • And the average payment for a grocery order is just $ 7.
  • Also, these buyers do not have paid time off, and Instacart does not contribute to unemployment insurance.
  • However, some Instacart shoppers are full-time employees who order grocery store orders but do not deliver or receive tips. Rather than providing shoppers with the necessary protective gear, the company has recommended social distancing, which is impossible in crowded supermarkets.
  • Instacart has rejected buyers’ demands to pay them for risks and salary increases. According to Jorge, a buyer who posted an open letter to the company on Twitter. Instead, it has offered, depending on the case, a maximum of just seven consecutive days of unpaid time off.
  • Last year, shoppers were angered when Instacart lowered the company’s app’s default tip to 10 percent. The company refused to negotiate with them. In response, the buyers pulled out from November 3-5. The company retaliated by discontinuing the quality bonus it had paid for “good work.”  This spiteful act amounts to a pay cut of up to 40 percent, depending on the order.
  • “Low pay is something that has been a problem for a long time. But it’s a bigger problem now because sick. People with no savings or even rent next month can’t stay home,” Ashley said. “Instacart’s paid sick leave has hurdles that most of its workforce cannot jump.”
  • “I’ve seen one pay cut after another where I saw a 50 percent or more decrease every week,” Sarah said. “It’s so unpredictable, and honestly, most of what I do is general tips, and not Instacart payment.  Which means these customers are paying Instacart a lot, and buyers hardly see that money.”
  • Whole Foods workers have announced their intention to go on strike tomorrow, March 31. By posting an online flyer that reads. “We put ourselves at risk! We have demands!

 

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