For the past several weeks, Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective have been urging Instacart to take proper safety precautions. We have been ignored.

Instead, Instacart has turned this pandemic into a PR campaign, portraying itself the hero of families that are sheltered-in-place, isolated, or quarantined. Instacart has still not provided essential protections to Shoppers on the front lines that could prevent them from becoming carriers, falling ill themselves, or worse. Instacart’s promise to pay Shoppers up to 14 days of pay if diagnosed or placed in mandatory quarantine not only falls short, but isn’t even being honored. Instacart knows it’s virtually impossible to meet their qualifications and is ignoring Shoppers’ pleas for more substantial and preventative help. Additionally, as per their release, this policy is set to expire April 8th — likely before any Shopper will even qualify for this payment.

Instacart has a well established history of exploiting its Shoppers, one that extends years back before our current crisis. Now, its mistreatment of Shoppers has stooped to an all-time low. 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.

Shoppers have had enough. Instacart has refused to act proactively in the interests of its Shoppers, customers, and public health, so we are forced to take matters into our own hands. We will not continue to work under these conditions. We will not risk our safety, our health, or our lives for a company that fails to adequately protect us, fails to adequately pay us, and fails to provide us with accessible benefits should we become sick.

On Monday, March 30, Shoppers will walk off of our jobs, and will not return to work until our demands are met. We demand that Instacart meet the following conditions:

  1. Safety precautions at no cost to workers — PPE (at minimum hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/sprays and soap).
  2. Hazard pay — an extra $5 per order and defaulting the in-app tip amount to at least 10% of the order total.
  3. An extension and expansion of pay for workers impacted by COVID-19 — anyone who has a doctor’s note for either a preexisting condition that’s a known risk factor or requiring a self-quarantine.
  4. The deadline to qualify for these benefits must be extended beyond April 8th.

This is an extraordinary time in history, and as Shoppers, those of us who are able — and have the means to protect ourselves — do want to help those in our community by delivering groceries and supplies. But with Instacart neglecting the basic wellbeing of its 150,000+ drivers, we believe there is no choice but to not only walk off, but to raise awareness to the company’s practices. They are putting us directly in harm’s way while profiting greatly. We cannot let this be considered normal.

Signed,

Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective

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