Workers for the grocery delivery service Instacart are reportedly considering a strike as they worry about their safety as they try to meet online demand for grocery deliveries during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
Time.com reports that workers for the grocery delivery service are becoming increasingly worried about their health as cities go into lockdown due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. A group called the Gig Workers Collective (GWC) is now calling for a nationwide walk-out on Monday, insisting that Instacart provide workers with hazard pay and protective gear amongst other demands.
On Sunday, Instacart stated that it would provide workers with new hand sanitizer upon request and outlined changes to its tip system, but the GWC states that these measures are too little too late. Some workers reportedly intend to join the strike for at least a day, but other newer workers are seemingly happy to have a paying job as mass layoffs begin across other industries.
Instacart is reportedly trying to hire 300,000 more workers to fulfill orders that have surged by 150 percent year-over-year in the past few weeks. Instacart stated that 50,000 new shoppers joined its platform in the past week. Instacart has more than 200,000 contracted workers on its workforce making multiple trips a day to various grocery stores to fulfill and deliver orders that customers make through a mobile app.
Instacart has previously stated that it has added more “promotions” or extra pay for workers to accept certain orders, but for many, this is not enough to convince them to risk their health. Shanna Foster, a single mother who stopped working her Instacart gig two weeks ago out of fear of contracting the coronavirus stated: “They need to give us hazard pay right now and it should be guaranteed.”