A group of Shipt workers on Tuesday stopped fulfilling delivery orders over safety concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a Medium post earlier this week, the gig workers — who are employed by the Target-owned Shipt — outlined a list of demands, including paid sick leave and personal protective equipment.
It’s not immediately clear how many Shipt workers are participating in the strike, but the worker group says the walk-off is ongoing. The worker group and Shipt declined to say how many employees have walked off the job.
In the Medium post, the group voiced concern about frequent shopping while the government encourages people to stay at home. Workers are seeking paid time off for those sick or unable to work due to Covid-19, along with hazard pay of $5 per order.
Shipt is a gig-driven shopping service. Workers range from part- to full-time, but each order is accepted on an individual basis, similar to the system used by Uber and Lyft. When Shipt shoppers accept an order, they’re required to go into a store and pick up requested items and then deliver them to customers’ homes.
The worker group called on all Shipt shoppers to withhold labor until these demands are met.
“We are urging workers to stay home, so there won’t be any type of picketing or demonstration. We want everyone to be home safe,” a spokesperson for the group said.
Shipt and Target have announced a plan to provide both gig workers and Target team members with gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer. In addition, workers will be able to conduct “no contact delivery,” and they won’t be penalized for delivery ratings under 5 stars.
Shipt also added bonuses for qualified Shipt workers. Shoppers who fulfilled 50 or more orders in March will get a $100 bonus, while those who fulfilled more than 100 will get a $200 bonus, a Target spokesman told the Los Angeles Times.
Those measures still aren’t enough for some workers, though.
“The White House said this pandemic will worsen within the next six days and urged Americans to stay away from grocery stores,” the worker group said in an email. “Shipt is acting like it's business as usual and refusing to acknowledge just how detrimental this is to their workforce.”
Meanwhile, Shipt says it’s experiencing a “record” number of orders.
“We’ve actually seen an increase in orders when compared to this time last week,” a Shipt spokesperson said. “That’s the best indication of how things are going today.”