Instacart is latest to offer workers masks, thermometers

Coronavirus safety drives strikes at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods


Some Amazon and Instacart workers planned to go on strike for better pay and protection during the coronavirus outbreak.

Grocery delivery service Instacart said Thursday that it will provide face masks, thermometers and hand sanitizer to its full-service shoppers in the wake of worker demands that they get better protections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instacart shoppers can order the free health and safety kits starting next week through a special portal created for them, the company said. Instacart will also pass out face masks to its employees at stores where it has on-site operations.

“Our teams are working quickly to introduce new services and features to ensure our shopper community is supported as this situation unfolds,”  Nilam Ganenthiran, president of Instacart said in a statement. 

Ganenthiran said the company had “been working around the clock over the last few weeks to proactively secure personal protective equipment.”

But the lack of protections and hazard pay prompted some Instacart employees to stay off the job Monday. It was just one of several protests being staged or planned this week by delivery, warehouse and grocery workers who have become critical to getting supplies to millions of Americans hunkered down at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


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