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For the past 5 years, shoppers have repeatedly sounded the alarm regarding Instacart’s misappropriation of tips, theft of tips, unsafe working conditions, continuous and increasingly devastating pay cuts, and more. Instacart responded by completely ignoring the concerns of its shoppers, retaliating against shoppers for speaking out, or offering extremely minimal tokens of appeasement accompanied by insincere apologies for its actions. In July, shoppers’ were optimistic for better treatment when Instacart hired a new CEO, Fidji Simo. That optimism, however, was short-lived, and it has become abundantly clear that Instacart remains true to its morally corrupt nature and will never do right by its shoppers.

Striking Employees Reveal Basic Economic Principle That Derails COVID-19 Fight

A series of recent protests by the workers preparing and delivering our essential foods and other goods highlights a key risk to our ability to combat the coronavirus. Some employees at an Amazon warehouse and Instacart “shoppers” briefly walked off the job on March 30, citing inadequate health protections and compensation. And Whole Foods workers organized a national “sick out” protest to pressure the grocery chain for hazard pay and more protections. With most Americans sheltering in place, these workers are among the millions of individuals who face heightened risks as they continue to do their jobs keeping our refrigerators and pantries stocked during the pandemic. But because of an economic theory I study known as “positive externalities,” most of them aren’t being adequately compensated for it.

Amazon, Instacart Workers Strike Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

As much of the country is under “shelter in place” orders to help flatten the curve, Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods’ employees’ safety is in jeopardy. And many of them walked off the job yesterday to pressure the companies to step-up protections and pay. While online shopping and grocery delivery is at an all-time high amid the coronavirus pandemic, the protests come as some employees are testing positive for the virus and neither Instacart nor Amazon are doing enough to keep employees safe. “The richest man in the world can’t even provide basic protection for his workers during this pandemic crisis because it hurts his bottom line,” Ron T. Kim, New York Assembly member, tweeted about Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos. “I stand in solidarity with Amazon workers.”
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