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Shipt workers to walk off the job Tuesday



Workers at Target-owned grocery delivery company Shipt plan to walk off the job on Tuesday in protest of its handling of the novel coronavirus.

A group of workers released a new set of demands in a blog post Monday, including $5 of hazard pay per order, an expansion of the company’s paid sick leave policy and a reversion to its original pay structure.

Willy Solis, a lead organizer of the walkout and a company shopper in the Dallas area, told The Hill that workers decided to follow in the footsteps of those at Instacart and Whole Foods in walking out after Shipt failed to provide sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves.

“We’ve been calling for PPE for several weeks now, through direct and indirect means, and our requests have been completely ignored,” he said. “There’s a sense of urgency in regards to protecting ourselves.”

Shipt said in a blog post Monday that it will be coordinating with Target to provide a mask and glove set to shoppers within the next two weeks.

“While this is a start, it’s not nearly enough,” the Shipt workers said in response to that commitment.

In addition to PPE shortages, Shipt workers have raised concerns about pay during the crisis.

The Hill reported last week that the company cut payment for canceled deliveries, in one instance paying a worker $0.29 for an order that would have normally netted between $10 and $20.

The company instituted a $5 minimum on canceled deliveries and reimbursed shoppers who had received less than that, but workers say that change is not enough.

They are calling for the company to switch back to a pay model that gave workers the full delivery fee regardless of when during the shopping process an order was canceled.

The Shipt workers are also calling for an expansion of the company’s sick leave policy.

Shipt has offered its workers two weeks of paid time off, but only if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or get a letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or state health officials telling them to self-quarantine. 

The workers are asking Shipt to also include workers with their own doctor’s notes or those who are at too high risk of infection to work.

Shipt did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on the walk-off and the worker demands.

Tuesday’s planned walkout will be the latest in a series of protests in response to how companies have protected their workers amid the spread of coronavirus.

Last week, Instacart shoppers stopped taking orders to demand hazard pay and more inclusive paid sick leave policies.

Workers have also walked off from multiple Amazon warehouses that have been kept open despite positive cases of COVID-19.

“Quite frankly, Shoppers are fed up with Shipt disregarding the health and safety of customers and shoppers while playing games with Shopper pay,” the Shipt workers wrote in their blog post Monday.

“During these uncertain times, Shipt must not put profits before people,” the post says.



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