Instacart delivery workers are reportedly planning to strike over rising safety concerns amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, and its impact on the delivery business.
The Gig Workers Collective, a non-profit group, has recently called out for nationwide walk-out. The group has been demanding that the American technology company provide protective gear and hazard pay of $5 to workers, among other demands. In response to these demands, the company will reportedly offer hand sanitizers upon workers’ request as well as make some changes in the tip system by paying the exact sum as last tipped by the customer. Initially, the workers had demand that the company raise the tip default from its current 5% to 10% in its app.
Instacart has contracted a 3rd-party manufacturer to develop hand sanitizer spray and deliver it to workers at no cost, upon request. The company also has started offering bonuses of $25 to $200 for hourly-paid workers, based on hour worked till April 15. Additionally, it has announced a temporary policy to offer 14 days sick leave to employees who have been infected with coronavirus or have been asked to isolate themselves.
Some workers are reportedly joining the strike for at least 1 day. In addition, due to the fear of catching the virus, several workers have halted the process of filling orders, while others are satisfied in having a paying job during the mass layoffs across various industries.
With an aim to meet the demand for groceries delivery, surging by 150% Y-O-Y, as well as the entry of new 50,000 shoppers in past few weeks, the San Francisco-based company is planning to hire another 300,000 workers, which is more than a double of its current workforce. In addition to the existing workforce, the company also has hired nearly 20,000 part-time workers.
The company has previously announced the addition of more promotions, i.e. extra pay to contracted shoppers for accepting certain orders, in an effort to retain their full-service employees.