On the eve of a planned work break by the customers, Instacart said today it would distribute independently developed hand sanitizer to its customers.
Instacart shoppers are intend to refuse new orders Monday because they say the delivery company has not done enough to protect them during the coronavirus outbreak. The strike is still ongoing, workers said in a statement today, who called Instacart’s response a “sick joke.”
One of the customers’ demands was that Instacart provide protective equipment, such as hand sanitizer, but organizers also want the company to add a $ 5 per order risk payment and expand sickness absence policies.
“Given the wide supply chain shortages for supplies such as hand sanitizer, Instacart partnered with a third party to produce its own hand sanitizer for Instacart buyers to overcome existing inventory delays and global supply chain scarcity without eliminating resources include health professionals, “the company said in an emailed statement The edge.
The buyer group said she had been asking for hand sanitisation for weeks and wondered how the company could find it so quickly. “What were these efforts when Shoppers first asked for them?” their statement read. “It is appalling that it took so long for them to take action, but on the plus side it shows that a strike will work to change their behavior.”
The hand sanitizer is a liquid spray, ethyl alcohol based product that, according to Instacart, meets CDC guidelines. It is being made available to customers who request it through a dedicated website for free, the company said.
Main organizer Vanessa Bain told The edge on Friday that they and other customers are concerned about their health and that Instacart’s measures did not go far enough to ensure their safety.
The company announced on March 9 that it would provide 14 days of paid leave to part-time employees or shoppers diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in mandatory quarantine.
On Friday, the company said it would happen extend the benefit until 8 May. It also introduced a bonus program, based on hours worked between March 15 and April 15 and ranging from $ 25 to $ 200, and additional promotions for full-service shoppers to earn more based on regional demand.
Bain previously said the sickness absence plan was inadequate, as many customers don’t have health insurance and would likely work sick if they could even get a coronavirus test.
In addition to providing hand sanitizer, Instacart said today that it changes the tip options in its app. Under the new structure, the ‘none’ option is removed and the app remembers a customer’s previous tip and sets it as the default for future orders.
However, in their statement today, workers called this plan “ridiculous”, adding that it probably “would not bring any meaningful benefit to shoppers.”
Instacart has announced plans to hire 300,000 new customers due to the overwhelming demand for grocery delivery during the coronavirus outbreak.
The workers’ group, for its part, says it was “backed by the outpouring of aid” it received since the announcement of its strike plans, adding “the strike is still ongoing”.