Some workers at the Instacart grocery delivery platform are still waiting for the safety kits that the company promised two weeks ago, according to a new report in Wired. And, according to buyers Wired spoken, the process of receiving the kits was confusing and cumbersome.
Instacart announced on March 29 that it would distribute hand sanitizer to all of its full-service buyers, most of whom are independent contractors. On April 2, the company said buyers will receive “health and safety kits” that include a reusable face mask, hand sanitizer and a thermometer. Workers had to order the kits via an internal Instacart website.
But according to Wired, workers said that navigating the website was confusing and did not know when or if the kits would arrive. The company said Wired it had limited the daily number of authorized orders in order to be able to verify that all the candidates were legitimate employees of Instacart.
An Instacart spokesperson said in an emailed statement to The edge On Saturday, the company “focused on the health and safety of our consumer community” and worked with health officials to take the necessary precautions.
“Our teams have proactively secured personal protective equipment for the Instacart buyer community, including health and safety kits for face masks and thermometers, and have worked with a third party to manufacture a hand sanitizer” said the spokesperson. “We have started shipping these items in the past two weeks and are moving quickly to get them into the hands of Instacart buyers.”
Kits have apparently started arriving for some buyers:
Today, the first day, some Instacart employees receive their PPE kits (masks, hand sanitizer and thermometer) and the reactions are invaluable pic.twitter.com/7Cnf08G2X5
– Sarah Clarke #deleteinstacart (@Sarah___Clarke) April 18, 2020
Instacart announced on March 9 that it was granting 14 days of paid leave to all part-time workers or buyers who were diagnosed with COVID-19 or who were placed in mandatory quarantine, subsequently extending this benefit until May 8. It also introduced a bonus program and additional promotions for full-service buyers to earn more based on regional demand.
Instacart buyers organized a one-day work stoppage on March 30 to protest what they considered unsafe working conditions and asked the company not only to provide personal protective equipment for workers. buyers, but also a risk premium.
The company announced last month that it is hiring 300,000 new buyers due to the high demand for grocery delivery during the coronavirus pandemic.