Workers say Instacart isn’t investing in safety during coronavirus pandemic

InstaCart employees fulfill orders for delivery at the new Whole Foods Market Inc. store. Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images (© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP)

Instacart, a same-day grocery delivery and pick-up service based out of San Franciso, is facing criticism in South Florida over an alleged lack of investment in safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Workers want the company to provide personal protective equipment to avoid spreading the coronavirus; When the company responded with a promise to ship hand sanitizer, workers decided to strike.

The Gig Workers Collective, a new organization advocating for the rights of contract workers for mobile phone app services, is organizing Instacart Shoppers’ strike on Monday.

In solidarity with the organization, Kelly Benjamin, of The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees trade union in Florida, released a statement listing the workers’ demands.

The workers want Instacart to provide personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and sprays and soap. They are also asking for an extra $5 per order in hazard pay, a 10% gratuity and support for workers with pre-existing conditions.

Instacart executives announced Friday they would give new payments between $25 and $200 to in-store shoppers based on hours worked between March and April 15 and removed the signature requirement for alcohol deliveries.

On Sunday, the company released a statement on Twitter agreeing to provide a liquid spray ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which will ship in the next week. They are also removing the “none” tip option in the customer tip settings and adding a 5% minimum.