Amazon, Instacart Employees Walkout with COVID-19 Protection in Mind

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The coronoavirus is introducing chaos to the supply chain worldwide. Starting in the manufacturing epicenter of the world, causing delays, cancelations, concern and contempt, COVID-19 is shaking ecommerce. And, now, the United States is seeing the ripple reach its shores, as Amazon workers unite for each other’s wellbeing.

This morning, NPR reported on today’s planned midday walkout by Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York and Instacart’s grocery delivery workers across the nation. With Instacart alone, we could see as many as 150,000 workers “strike.” The coronavirus quarantine is putting an immense amount of pressure on these team members, and they are demanding protection.

“Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable,” an Amazon spokesperson noted in an interview with TechCrunch.

Amazon workers want the Staten Island facility closed for a longer cleaning, with guaranteed pay. Team members from both businesses seek increased access to paid sick time off. It’s currently on available for those on mandatory self-quarantine or have tested positive for the coronavirus. In addition, Instacart’s grocery delivery gig workers would request hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and a form of hazard pay.

And as the abovementioned abandon post, they will be joined tomorrow by Whole Foods, even though it did raise hourly rates $2 and extend sick leave for workers who test positive. Per Vice, there is a planned “sick-out.”  But the coalition doesn’t end there, as Amazon tech workers are in lockstep.

When you are anxiously exploring Amazon for your survival supplies, it is important to remember that it is not only robots in warehouses. As such, they should be supported by the ecommerce goliath appropriately. The same holds true for all essential workers.

COVID-19 clearly has our attention, from the call center to the corner store things are changing – to say the least. But as these workers walkout, Americans suffer. Some happy middle ground need be sooner than later, as in our closed-door, quarantined reality the essential businesses are what we have to keep us afloat until the pandemic passes.

Stay safe, practice social distancing and protect your people.




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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