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Delivery workers demand protective measure amid COVID-19 outbreak

Employees from amazon and Instacart are planning to strike, arguing that they deserve extra pay and protective equipment.

As much as we fear the coronavirus,so do delivery from national companies. 

Workers from Instacart and Amazon are saying they won't work unless they get protection, like hand sanitizer and masks.

Vanessa Bain, an Instacart Labor Organizer says, "A lot of us are literally making the decision between our health and our financial security right now."

Amazon workers also want their warehouses to be closed for longer cleaning.

A woman who calls herself “Heaven”, and was on the picket line in New York Monday, said in a Twitter video, “I walked out because Amazon lied. They told me there was one case in the building and there is actually 11, so I don’t feel safe.”

They're also demanding paid sick time. Right now, that's only for those who've tested positive for the virus or get placed on mandatory self-quarantine.

In a statement, Amazon said it’s taken extreme measures to keep people safe, tripling down on deep cleaning, and getting available safety supplies. And they added that the vast majority of employees are in fact staying on the job.

At Instacart it's not just about safety, but pay.

“The pay from Instacart is so low, that no one in their right mind would take the orders with the risks that are involved, said Instacart shopper Glen Meyers.

Instacart sent us a statement where they told us, the company is working to provide disinfecting supplies for its shoppers. And because of the hand sanitizer shortage, it developed its own sanitizer, which will be available this week

It also said it's helping its shoppers earn higher, more consistent tips, by making it easier for customers to tip based on previous orders.

Most recently, customers could cancel tips after their delivery which significantly cut into worker’s pay. But not all Instacart workers are striking.

One shopper who preferred to remain anonymous said, “We don't work for Instacart. We are contractors. So, if you're deciding to complete orders for the company, then it's your responsibility to make sure that you are safe.”

But despite striking workers and limited time slots for deliveries, there are a number of other companies in our area that deliver food:


Perfectly Imperfect Produce

Fresh Fork Market

Groceries To Go

Presto Fresh Grocery Delivery

Shopping Angels


Reliable Couriers

Full Statement from Instacart:

“The health and safety of our entire community — shoppers, customers, and employees — is our first priority. Our goal is to offer a safe and flexible earnings opportunity to shoppers, while also proactively taking the appropriate precautionary measures to operate safely. We’re focused on serving as an essential service for millions of families, while providing immediate earnings opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people across North America.

We respect the rights of shoppers to provide us feedback and voice their concerns. As it relates to today’s actions, we’ve seen absolutely no impact to Instacart’s operations. Today, we saw 40% more shoppers on the platform compared to the same day and time last week. Over the last 72 hours, more groceries were sold on our platform than ever before. In the last week alone, 250,000 new people signed up to become Instacart full-service shoppers and 50,000 of them have already started shopping on the platform. The sentiment of our shopper community continues to be incredibly important to us, and today our shopper satisfaction, as measured by Net Promoter Score (NPS), is the highest it’s ever been in company history.

We’re always committed to ensuring shoppers are fairly compensated for their efforts. Based on the rise in customer demand, shopper earnings have increased by more than 40% month-over-month and shoppers, on average, have also seen a 30% increase in customer tips.

In the last four weeks, Instacart has introduced more than 15 new product features, new health guidelines, new shopper bonuses, new sick leave policies, and new safety supplies, as well as pay for those affected by COVID-19. Our team has an unwavering commitment to safely serve our shoppers in the wake of COVID-19, and we’ll continue to share additional updates over the coming days, weeks and months ahead as we further support this important community.” - Instacart said in a statement

Full Statement from Amazon:

These accusations are simply unfounded. Our employees are heroes fighting for their communities and helping people get critical items they need in this crisis. Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable. We have taken extreme measures to keep people safe, tripling down on deep cleaning, procuring safety supplies that are available, and changing processes to ensure those in our buildings are keeping safe distances. The truth is the vast majority of employees continue to show up and do the heroic work of delivering for customers every day.

We have heard a number of incorrect comments from Christian Smalls, the hourly associate claiming to be the spokesperson on this topic. Mr. Smalls is alleging many misleading things in his statements but we believe it's important to note that he is, in fact, on a 14-day self-quarantine requested by Amazon to stay home with full pay. He was placed in paid quarantine out of an abundance of caution because we notified him that he may have had close contact with someone at the building who was diagnosed.

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