March 31, 2020

Instacart, Amazon and Whole Foods Workers Demand Protections

Companies which are experiencing extreme strain due to increased demand for services following stay-at-home orders implemented across the country are also facing protest from its much-needed workers who say they haven’t done enough to protect them as front-line workers during the pandemic.

Concerns regarding COVID-19 and a reported lack of response from company leaders to properly enforce social distancing and to sanitize the facility, prompted workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, NY, to walk out Monday, March 30. On that same day, about 150,000 Instacart workers went on strike over similar demands including hazard pay, expanded sick pay for those with existing health conditions and changing the default tip from 5 percent to 10 percent on orders.

Meanwhile, employees at Whole Foods planned a sickout Tuesday as they demand better safety policies as well as hazard pay and sick pay for employees suspected of having COVID-19 but have not been tested. According to media reports, employees had initially planned their sick out for May 1, International Workers’ Day, but worries about their safety during the pandemic prompted the action to be moved up.

Instacart on Monday announced new actions to support their workers, but reports from New York indicate workers say it isn’t enough.

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