Instacart, Amazon Gig Workers Demonstrate in U.S., Italy Citing Inadequate Safety Measures at Facilities Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Warehouse, supply and retail gig workers in the U.S. went on strike Monday to demand attention to safety and wage concerns for people working through the coronavirus crisis.

Instacart, Amazon Gig Workers Demonstrate in U.S., Italy Citing Inadequate Safety Measures at Facilities Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Among the strikers had been some of the nearly 200,000 employees at U.S. online grocery supply company Instacart, based on strike organizer Gig Workers Collective GWC), formed earlier this year by Instacart employee Vanessa Bain.

Fifteen workers at an Amazon.com warehouse in Staten Island, New York, left the job Monday following reports of COVID-19 among the warehouse’s staff.

Amazon stated later it fired an employee who helped organize the action for alleged breaches of his employment, along with leaving a paid quarantine to take part in the protest. New York’s attorney general stated her office was “contemplating all legal options” against the firing, citing the right to organize in the state.

Workers have demonstrated in other nations. Dozens of Amazon staff at a facility near Florence, Italy, went on strike Monday.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stated last week that pressure on Amazon staff to work regardless of inadequate protections was “unacceptable.”

From delivery drivers to grocery store clerks, shelf stockers and fast-food staff, employees have kept food and essential items flowing to people who have been told by their governments to remain home to arrest the spread of coronavirus.

Around 800,000 individuals have been sickened by the virus across the world, and nearly 35,000 have died so far.

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