Instacart, a company that delivers groceries and other items through an app, has announced new measures to keep its employees safe.
The latest measures come after talk of a strike planned for Monday over inadequate protection for workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a March 27 post on Medium, workers and Gig Workers Collective said employees — known as “shoppers” — have been urging Instacart to take proper safety precautions amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but claim they have been ignored.
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“They are profiting astronomically off of us literally risking our lives, all while refusing to provide us with effective protection, meaningful pay, and meaningful benefits,” the post reads.
Workers claim that Instacart’s promise to compensate employees for up to 14 days if they are diagnosed with the virus or placed in mandatory quarantine “falls short” and isn’t being honoured.
As a result, workers had said on Monday, they will walk off the job unless their demands are met.
Gig Workers Collective is a nonprofit group in the U.S. fighting for “fair pay and better treatment for all gig economy workers.” It’s not clear how many Instacart shoppers are aligned with the group, or whether a potential strike would extend into Canada.
Global News reached out to both Gig Workers Collective and Instacart to clarify, as well as for additional comment. Gig Workers Collective did not respond by the time of publication.
In a statement on Sunday, Instacart said it is providing new supplies to “full-service shoppers” to keep them safe.
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It has also partnered with a company to make hand sanitizer amid national shortages. The hand sanitizer is expected to ship in the next week and will be available to Instacart shoppers through a website.