At a time when the home-delivery services of e-commerce companies are most in demand with the delivery boys playing a key role in ensuring supply of essential items to people amid lockdowns over coronavirus crisis, workers of Instacart, Amazon and Whole Foods are walking out.
While workers of Instacart, a grocery delivery service, and an Amazon warehouse in New York City walked out yesterday, a group of employees of Whole Foods, a supermarket company, called for a “sick-out” on Tuesday demanding enhanced safety measures and better pay to compensate for risk.
According to a report in
The New York Times, Instacart workers demanded more disinfecting material, bigger tips and shares of delivery fees, an expansion of sick pay among others. The report said that though the number of employees walking out was not known, the organisers estimate some thousands of employees refusing to come to work. However, the company said it was unaffected by the walkout, it added.
NYT report mentions, the Amazon walkout in Staten Island was led by a worker who claims he had been alarmed after learning about a colleague being ill. Christian Smalls, according to the report, said that he had suggested the management that the center should be closed for two weeks after the same colleague tested positive for coronavirus.
While the organisers said several dozen workers participated in the protest, Amazon, denying the accusation, has said that fewer than 15 had done so,
Whole Foods employees called for a mass ‘sick-out’ as an act of protest. “As this situation has progressed, our fundamental needs as workers have become more urgent. COVID-19 poses a very real threat to the safety of our workforce and our customers. We cannot wait for politicians, institutions, or our own management to step in to protect us,” the company said.
Whole Foods has temporarily relaxed its strict attendance policy, meaning the staff can participate in protest without fear of reprisal.
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