'A sick joke': Instacart workers are planning to strike Monday after calling the company's response to their demands 'insulting'

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'A sick joke': Instacart workers are planning to strike Monday after calling the company's response to their demands 'insulting'

instacart shopper

Instacart workers are calling the grocery-delivery company's response to their strike "insulting" and "a sick joke" as the company moves to meet some of their demands but leaves others unaddressed.

The workers are set to strike on Monday and demanded provisions like hazard pay of an additional $5 per order, an automatic 10% tip, and safety equipment like hand sanitizer as they manage the risks from the coronavirus.

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The company said on Sunday that it would provide hand sanitizer to workers within a week, and that it would use customers' last tip as the default on new orders. Instacart said last week that it would offer a $25 to $200 bonus for workers dependent on their hours worked between March 15 and April 15, but did not commit to a per-order bonus.

Workers said the company's response is "simply... not enough" and "insulting for a number of reasons."

Instacart's failure to address hazard pay "went completely unaddressed," workers said in a Medium post responding to the company, saying that the average order pays "well under $10."

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"Workers should not be risking their lives for pocket change," the workers, called "Instacart Shoppers" internally, said in the statement.

They said that "setting the tip amount to whatever a customer had previously tipped is ridiculous, because most previous customers would have tipped a different (lesser) amount back when things were more normal," workers said. "This will, in all likelihood, provide no meaningful benefit to Shoppers."

Instacart did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

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The strike comes as Instacart seeks to hire 300,000 additional workers to deliver groceries to people during the coronavirus epidemic.

"The last few weeks have been the busiest in Instacart's history," Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said in a blog post on Monday announcing the hirings.

Other companies like Target, Starbucks, and Trader Joe's have adjusted worker pay and paid-leave policies as companies and employees deal with the fallout from the coronavirus.

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The workers were also unsatisfied with the company's move to provide hand sanitizer in a week, and said that workers have been asking for it for "many, many weeks."

"Where was this before?" they said. "It's abhorrent that it took this long for them to act, but on the bright side, it shows that a strike will work to change their behavior."

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