Why Your Groceries Are Late: Instacart Strike Is Still On

Last week we reported on a strike being organized by the Gig Workers Collective with Instacart Shoppers. Over the weekend, Instacart indicated they'd be updating health and safety measures. Instacart did not reply directly to the strike announcement, but the timing of their announcement would seem to be done in order to avoid the strike – at least in part. Unfortunate for the Instacart business, their response was not enough to quell the demands of the Gig Workers Collective and/or Instacart Shoppers, and the strike is still on.

Per a statement from Instacart official, "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 want to underscore that we absolutely respect the rights of shoppers to provide us feedback and voice their concerns," continued an Instacart representative. "It's a valuable way for us to continuously make improvements to the shopper experience and we're committed to supporting this important community during this critical time."

Instacart posted a March 27th update entitled "Committed to the Health and Safety of Our Shopper Community." There was another update on Furthering Our Commitment to the Shopper Community.

The Gig Workers Collective posted a reply to those updates on March 29. This update suggested that the changes made for the safety of the shopper community were not enough to stop the strike. That post was called "Instacart's 'response' is a Sick Joke – The Strike is Still On."

Per the original demands of the strike, Instacart partially addressed concerns. They demanded safety precautions at no cost to workers, including "at minimum hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/sprays and soap." Instacart said they'll be shipping hand sanitizer "in the next week."

The Hazard Pay demand went unaddressed. Not on the list, but still important, was the change Instacart made to the "tip" structure in the app. Now tips are set to "whatever a customer had previously tipped", which, according to Gig Workers Collective, "is ridiculous, because most previous customers would have tipped a different (lesser) amount back when things were more normal."

Numbers 3 and 4 on the list of original demands had to do with "pay for workers impacted by COVID-19", which previously included a 2-week pay for any full-service shopper or part-time employee who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual mandatory isolation or quarantine "as directed by a local, state, or public health authority." This policy originally ended on April 8th. The 2-week pay for COVID-19/quarantine situation is pretty much the same now, save that it's been extended through May 8th, 2020.

So, again, the strike is still on. This doesn't necessarily mean that all Instacart Shoppers around the world won't be shopping – but the impact will likely be significant. We'll be reporting on all updates made by the workers and by Instacart on this developing situation.