Sorry, not a fun post. Not not-fun, but not fun. But informative! And information I am grateful to have since there is this weird lag to knowing about an online business strike. Unlike when the workers go on strike in a brick and mortar business and you see them standing out front as you pull up to shop.
I don’t know about you, but I was raised to believe that one of the worst things you can do is cross a picket line. That’s why strikes work, it’s not that the business shuts down because they can’t find workers (they can almost always find workers), it’s that people stop paying money to businesses with striking employees. There’s a public shame involved.
So, shame on Instacart and Amazon! As common sense has probably already told us all, they are not paying their employees a living wage, they are counting on them to go outside and risk infection, and they are not cutting into their bottom line to make that happen. Instacart (the company that works with grocery stores to deliver food) is not giving it’s workers hazard pay, paid sick leave, or protective equipment. Amazon is not giving extended sick leave, or shutting down warehouses for cleaning after workers are found to be infected.
I am sure both companies will be able to find new employees to fill the strike gap, and because there is no union this will not be a unified national strike, but of course that doesn’t mean we should give them money. Instead of ordering from Amazon, try going directly to store websites for whatever you need. Toy stores, pet stores, hardware stores, Biblio.com I already mentioned as the only independent online bookstore, they all have websites and you can order direct.
And for Instacart, there aren’t a lot of great national options. Postmates, Shipt are maybe a little better, but not great, would not be surprised if this turns into a universal strike on all the systems. So, back to local! See if your local grocery does delivery, or curbside pick up. You’ve got nothing but time, might as well research. I found a funky little local produce company that does weekly deliveries of random produce. I can’t really plan meals with that, but it’s a fun surprise every week.
I’m not an expert on any of this stuff, so I can’t give you big background or solutions or anything, but I can tell you Instacart workers and Amazon are on strike as of this morning, keep that in mind when making your online purchases. You can bet it won’t be something their websites will be advertising.