Welcome back to This Week In Rideshare News! Several stories this week:
- Instacart Workers Strike
- Instacart Plans To Hire Over 300K Workers
- EPA Approved list of cleaners
- Amazon warehouse workers are outraged after a coworker tested positive for COVID-19 and they weren’t notified
- Would Uber CEO Responds to Reporter, “Would He Place His Children in a Uber Right Now?”
- Acts of Kindness for Drivers
Instacart gig workers are planning a massive nationwide strike this Monday. The workers will refuse any and all orders until Instacart agrees to provide hazard pay, an additional $5 per order, free safety gear that would include hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and soap. They also want to expand the paid sick leave to include workers with preexisting conditions that were advised by their doctor to not work at this time.
Last week, Instacart said that they were going to hire over 300,000 more workers over the course of three months, obviously due to the virus and people wanting to have groceries delivered home. I also saw a lot of people bragging online too about how much money they made last week, and the company did report that it was their busiest week in history. However, I still see many, many, many couriers who say they’re having to choose between starvation and/or COVID-19.
Now, earlier today I was just on the Failed Journalist Podcast with Kevin and Dustin and Mark, and we were discussing a similar topic on how drivers went from independent contractors and not being essential for Uber’s business model, but all of a sudden during this pandemic, we’re essential. I’m thinking that hazard pay is something that we should all be shooting for.
Uber’s CEO was interviewed this past week, and when he was asked if he would put his children in an Uber, this is how we responded.
Our Top Tips for Drivers:
But what about the public health issue here? What about the customers who are scared to get in the car and scared of getting the virus, the drivers who are scared of driving passengers? Would you put your kids in an Uber right now?
Well, I think these are deeply personal decisions and it depends on the circumstance. I think you can’t have a global answer for that. I live in San Francisco and today I wouldn’t put my kids in an Uber because the governor has specifically asked for us to lock down.
Now, honestly, I think that most of us would answer that question that way, but you are the CEO of this company so surely if anyone is confident about people still being on the road, it should be you. Right?
Speaking of staying on the road and being safe, I’ve compiled a list of things that drivers are doing to stay healthy. I’m seeing folks buying these EPA-recommended disinfectants, like this one right here. Items will kill the virus and I’ve included a list in the description. You can get them at a supermarket. If you can’t find them at the supermarket, you can definitely get them at Office Depot Staples, 99 Cent Store. They’re out there. Also, you don’t just want to spray this and wipe it off. You want to let it sit there for a bit, 10 to 15 minutes, allow it to dry and then spray it again. Also, you don’t spray and wipe off. You let it sit there for 10 to 15 minutes, allow it to dry and spray again. You’re going to clean every single surface of your car. Folks are cleaning door handles, buttons, seats, dash buttons, head rest, seat buckles, everything.
Folks are wearing gloves and masks. Folks are not allowing riders to get in the front seat. People are taking their rider’s temperatures. Folks are asking if their riders are sick. People are using plastic and glass barriers to separate themselves from riders. Oh boy. People are giving masks to riders, and this woman right here actually said that she was wearing hers upside down and this doctor corrected her. People are rolling down windows and turning off air conditioner to increase circulation in the car. People are removing treats. No water, no candy at this time. People were taking better care of themselves, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, drinking water, eating well. All this stuff are things to boost your immune system. If you have any additional tips, let us know in the comments.
Now, another delivery giant, Amazon, saw growth in a number of infected workers this past week across warehouses from New York to California and Michigan to Texas. Some cases, Amazon shut down these facilities for cleaning and some workers who were in close contact with their colleagues that were infected have been quarantined. Now, if you work for Amazon and weren’t aware of this, you are not alone, as many workers complain that Amazon didn’t share this vital information with their workers and people had to find out on the internet. They’ve definitely come under scrutiny in the way that they’ve handled these incidents and people are asking for more.
Employees said that they’re not being offered paid time off and they’re also afraid to work because of the threat of the infection, but they are being allowed to go home without pay and not lose their jobs. I don’t think that that’s right. Some people have complained that Amazon pushes them to meet a per-hour rate at which they want certain amount of orders for the field, a practice that they worry discourages safe and sanitary practice such as watching your hands after you cough or sneeze.
How realistic are the rates that they’re giving you?
I mean, not realistic at all.
No. There’s absolutely no way to make rate. You’ve got to find little ways to cheat it, because once you hit rate, by the end of the week they raise it, they bump it up again.
Because they start seeing, hey, if people could hit those rates, could hit those numbers, hey, let’s push them a little harder.
Others have also complained about standup meeting, where workers stand shoulder to shoulder at the start of each shift and they’re not practicing social distancing. This last week, they’ve temporarily closed a warehouse in Queens after a worker tested positive and another facility in Kentucky was closed as well. Now, the closest facility to me is in Moreno Valley and if it were to be shut down it would greatly impact the residents of Southern California. I still can’t get my orders on time. But the number of incidents across the Amazon warehouses have caused concern, not only from the warehouse workers, but from the technology workers. They are also calling on some sort of measures be put in place to protect the health of the warehouse workers. At least it seems like everyone is definitely wanting there to be some safer practices.
Now, I’m sure you’re probably wondering this next question and I’m going to answer it for you right now. I looked at the CDC website and they had this to say about your packages. Right, but I also saw this so.
So we know now that on various surface it can live various times, anywhere from copper, around four hours, to stainless steel and plastic, two to three days. Cardboard is right down the middle, 24 hours is how long it can live on there and still be what we call viable, meaning it still could pass on coronavirus.
Hoda, this is what a lot of experts are calling a theoretical risk, meaning it looks like it could be on the cardboard and it could theoretically pass, but by the time it gets to you, it’s shipped through a lot of different containers, different warehouses, different trucks, different temperatures. So more than likely there’s not a lot there, but there still could be some. You have to remember, there’s a package inside a package. The best thing to do, take the outside package and simply get rid of it, then wash your hands. With the inside package, if you’re worried about it, you can do two things. You could let it sit there for 24 hours, it should go away at that point. If you need it now, you could disinfect it on the outside, which should help to some extent. But the main thing is, once you handle that, wash your hands before you touch your face. That’s the best thing you can do.
Lastly, amid the pandemic, there seems to be another thing that’s contagious and the internet is buzzing about it.
What’s up, man?
Can we take one of these, or?
Yeah, absolutely. It’s free.
Oh, man. You’re a lifesaver. Thank you. Can I take one of these too?
Thank you, man. I went to Walmart. It’s kind of hard though, but I got out and got a look. I didn’t get no toilet paper though.
Thank you for working hard, man. I appreciate it.
Thank you, man. I appreciate it.
Small acts of kindness for delivery drivers. Now, folks are giving away toilet paper, treats, hand sanitizer, all this wonderful stuff that you can not find at a grocery store easy, but I was just thinking, for this week’s what would you do, what would you want in that box? If someone were to gift you something, what that be? Let me know in the comments.
I appreciate you guys rocking with me every single week. These videos go live at 6:00 AM Pacific standard time on The Rideshare Guy channel. My name is Cecily, and if you’re interested in more of my content, you can find me on Drive Girl Drive on YouTube and/or facebook.com/drivegirldrive. Peace out, be safe. Praying for you guys every single week. Take care.
Ready to Maximize Your Ridesharing Profits?
Maximum Ridesharing Profits is The Rideshare Guy's online video course. Enroll to learn how rideshare veterans earn more, spend less, and treat rideshare driving like a real business.