On Jan. 21, the UFCW condemned the news that Instacart is firing nearly 2,000 grocery workers, who have been vital to protecting food access for Americans during the pandemic.
As part of this move, the company is firing the only unionized Instacart workers in the country, who joined UFCW Local 1546 in February 2020. UFCW Local 1546 has demanded that Instacart reconsider its decision to lay off any of the company’s essential workers during the pandemic. Instacart workers are among those designated as essential workers and successfully pressured the company to strengthen COVID-19 safety measures to protect them on the job as virus cases have continued to rise across the country.
“All across the country, Instacart grocery workers have been bravely serving on the frontlines since the pandemic began, putting their own health at risk to ensure Americans have the food they need during this crisis,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement. “Now, with COVID-19 outbreaks spiraling out of control, it is outrageous that Instacart would fire these courageous and hard-working men and women keeping our food supply secure.”
“For seniors, high-risk individuals, and countless more who are quarantining, Instacart grocery workers have been a trusted and crucial lifeline, providing access to food for some of the most vulnerable Americans,” Perrone added. “Instacart firing the only unionized workers at the company and destroying the jobs of nearly 2,000 dedicated frontline workers in the middle of this public health crisis is simply wrong. As the union for Instacart grocery workers in the Chicago area and grocery workers nationwide, the UFCW is calling on Instacart to immediately halt these plans and to put the health of their customers first by protecting the jobs of these brave essential workers at a time when our communities need them most.”