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Instacart adds safety measures, enhanced tipping tool ahead of workforce strike

Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY

Ahead of a nationwide worker's strike set for Monday, Instacart announced new measures to keep employees safe amid the growing coronavirus crisis.

The grocery delivery company said Sunday it would distribute health and safety supplies to its full-service workers who gather food and other essentials at supermarkets, then drop them off at customers' homes. The company is also launching a new tip setting to help shoppers earn higher, more consistent tips.

"We’ve been evaluating the COVID-19 crisis minute-by-minute to provide real-time support for Instacart shoppers and customers throughout North America," the company said in a press release.

News recently broke that some of the company's workers plan a nationwide strike over inadequate safety measures when fulfilling online grocery orders. The workers also plan to rally for an extra $5 per order in hazard pay during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Instacart employs about 200,000 shoppers, but it's unclear how many will partake in the strike. 

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Instacart says it has commissioned a third-party to manufacture hand sanitizer for its employees. It also announced last week that it plans to offer workers a bonus. Instacart previously rolled out retroactive sick pay for in-store shoppers. 

With more people staying home to slow the spread of the respiratory illness, Instacart has seen its order volume swell more than 150% year-over-year, the company said. It previously launched a “Leave at My Door Delivery” option to cut down on face-to-face contact between people. 

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Instacart wants to increase workers' tips ahead of workforce strike