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Weekly Roundups

Amazon’s Prime Day Hazardous for Warehouse Workers

By Andrea Villar | Thu, 10/15/2020 - 14:01

One of the most anticipated online events for shoppers is Prime Day, an annual shopping event where Amazon offers discounts to its Prime members to boost sales. The story, however, is different for employees at warehouses. When the pandemic began, Amazon told a judge it would suspend productivity quotas at its stores, but the company led by Jeff Bezos reinstated them, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing a court appearance by the company's workers, in which they claim that Amazon's "oppressive and dangerous" policies violated public nuisance laws and heightened the risks of COVID-19. Employees at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, told Bloomberg that Amazon had not been honest and forthright in court about not sanctioning workers for not meeting the company's quotas for the number of tasks performed each hour.

Days before the start of Prime Day, Verdi, a German trade union that has organized strikes against Amazon since 2013, called on workers in seven warehouses to go on strike to coincide with the annual event. Despite the strike call, an Amazon spokesperson said most employees were still working normally, adding that the company offered "excellent wages" with benefits and working conditions comparable to those of other major employers. 

In recent years, the number of employees forming unions to demand better working conditions from Amazon has increased. "Over the years, the giant has avoided unionism at US stores through a combination of corporate anti-union tactics and employee benefits designed to convince workers and customers that Amazon is generous. But the new COVID-19 threatens to do what unions have failed to do in years: empower workers," Matt Day said in a Bloomberg Businessweek story in May. 

More news below:

  • Artists and major labels are looking to boost their songs and records through bots. This business is booming on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. The modus operandi of the so-called streaming farms is to offer services to artists or record companies to boost their music artificially, playing the same songs or playlists over and over again. According to magazine Rolling Stone, 3 to 4 percent of all streams are faked, equal to US$300 million in lost revenue.

  • On Wednesday, Oct. 7, Mexico Business News organized a webinar, together with sponsor Fortinet, on the topic “Business Under Attack: The Threat of Cybercrime.” The event discussed issues such as the ever-increasing, constant and sophisticated threats from cybercriminals, the most neglected and exposed areas in business and the urgent need to raise awareness of this issue among businesses. Read the highlights here.

  • The pandemic has raised new challenges for companies on how to provide greater security and safety than what we were used to, wrote this week for Mexico Business News Alexis Langagne Fasén, Managing Director for North Latin America at Prosegur. To accomplish this with the right balance of risk mitigation and cost, he proposes the ‘Five Golden Rules of Post-Pandemic Enterprise Security,’ which are all about building intelligence and prediction capabilities into the current organization’s security system. Read more about it here.

  • The collaborative effort between Mexico and Argentina in developing ALCE aims to be the first step in the generation of alliances to share technology, science and knowledge to strengthen the region’s capabilities in space research, while simultaneously promoting integration among countries in the region. Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard and Argentinian Chancellor Felipe Carlos Solá signed on Friday, Oct. 9, a declaration that would set the next steps for collaboration on space matters across the region.

  • The gig economy worker population is growing at a sustained rate across Latin America and so are the opportunities that come with it, said Juan Camilo Pineda, Co-Founder and Country Manager in Mexico of Lana, in an interview with MBN. “There have been several effects on the gig economy due to the pandemic. One is that ride-hailing dropped severely amid the restrictions on movement. To help workers, we offered loans through a partner, with very low-interest rates to help them through the situation,” he pointed out.

  • Who is NIO and why has its stock price skyrocketed? NIO is a Chinese automaker that designs and manufactures premium electric vehicles. The company was founded in 2014 and went public in September 2018. One year later, in October, its shares reached historic lows just to grow year-on-year sixteen-fold in October 2020. This has been the path of the company up to this point.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Bloomberg
Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst

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