1,930.69 +22.99 (1.21%)
Pre-market: 4:50AM EDT
|Bid||1,928.00 x 1300|
|Ask||0.00 x 1400|
|Day's range||1,893.62 - 1,944.96|
|52-week range||1,626.03 - 2,185.95|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.54|
|PE ratio (TTM)||82.91|
|Earnings date||22 Apr 2020 - 26 Apr 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||2,415.33|
In this episode of Influencers, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg joins Andy Serwer to discuss the company’s efforts to boost small business and the COVID-19 impact on social media habits.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- What was once sacrosanct is no more. Apple Inc. seems to have blinked.Late Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported that Apple has relaxed its rules requiring a 30% cut for any content sold inside video apps on its iOS platform. The tech giant said its program allows “premium subscription video” providers the ability to charge consumers directly using their own payment systems without paying a commission to Apple.For customers of Amazon.com Inc., which started taking advantage of the change on Wednesday, it means Amazon’s Prime Video subscribers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, can now buy or rent video content using the e-commerce company’s app on Apple’s platforms. Amazon.com Inc. had previously only allowed video purchases outside of Apple’s ecosystem, such as its website. Canal+, owned by Vivendi SA, and Altice USA Inc.’s Altice One had already joined Apple’s program in recent years.As recently as last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS News the company didn’t have a dominant position in any market. But analysts have said Apple’s App Store may be the one business where it actually had excessive power over developers, because of the steep commission it was able to demand in exchange for allowing their apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions to be sold on its platforms. (The 30% subscription fee is lowered to 15% after the first year.)The Apple App Store’s high commission structure has been infuriating for many companies. In 2019, music-streaming company Spotify Technology SA filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, while Epic Games Inc. CEO Tim Sweeney, whose company makes Fortnite, has consistently railed against Apple’s commission structure as unjustified. Netflix Inc. even abandoned using Apple’s payment system altogether to avoid the fee in 2018.Why did Apple budge? Perhaps it’s a move to preempt further pressure from regulators. Whatever the reason, once the first step is made toward lower fees, there is no turning back.It’s only a matter time before other companies such as Netflix, Spotify and countless others ask for better terms as well. Lower middle-man fees can also be good news for consumers if it leads to lower prices, too.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. has relaxed a controversial policy that took a 30% cut of payments when video apps on its platform sold TV shows and movies.Amazon.com Inc. started taking advantage of the change on Wednesday, selling and renting movies via its Prime Video service on Apple devices without needing to give Apple a share of the money.“Apple has an established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers to offer a variety of customer benefits,” the Cupertino, California-based technology giant said in a emailed statement. The program applies to multiple services, including Amazon Prime Video. Canal+, a unit of Vivendi SA, started participating in 2018. Altice One, a cloud-based video service from Altice USA Inc., signed up in February.The program lets these premium services charge viewers via their own payment method instead of Apple’s in-app-purchase system, which takes a 30% cut. “Customers have the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription,” Apple said in the statement.Apple said the program also provides a number of other benefits, including “integration with the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2 support, tvOS apps, universal search, Siri support and, where applicable, single or zero sign-on.”Most other types of apps and services on Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV require the use of Apple’s in-app-purchase system for downloads and upgrades. Some developers, including Spotify Technology SA, have said Apple’s system is an antitrust issue and have had to raise their prices by 30% for iPhone users to offset Apple’s fees.Read more: Apple and Google Face Growing Revolt Over App Store ‘Tax’ (Updates with details of program participants in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s firing of a walkout organizer has spurred criticism and calls for reinstatement by the largest labor groups in the U.S.Labor leaders and dozens of New York state and city elected officials urged Amazon to reinstate Chris Smalls, the leader of a walkout Monday over health and safety conditions at the company’s Staten Island, New York warehouse. Smalls was fired after the protest, in which workers asked Amazon to close the facility for cleaning after cases of Covid-19 were confirmed within its ranks. Amazon said Smalls was dismissed for violating a company-ordered quarantine after coming into contact with someone infected with the disease. Smalls said he was fired for his activism.“We write to you today shocked at reports that Amazon warehouses are not practicing the protocols necessary to protect the well-being of your workers and of the public,” said the letter, addressed to Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and other executives, and signed by the leaders of the AFL-CIO, United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, among others. Amazon didn’t immediately comment on the letter. The unions also called for independent monitors to investigate whether Amazon facilities adhered to guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for social distancing during the pandemic.As coronavirus cases pop up in Amazon’s 800,000-strong workforce, some employees in warehouses across the country have expressed concerns about the company’s commitment to their safety. Workers at sites in Chicago and near Detroit walked off the job after the Staten Island protest. Amazon has said it ramped up cleaning in its facilities and is sending home, with pay, people diagnosed with Covid-19 and those who they came into close contact with. It has also temporarily boosted wages and overtime payments, and said employees can take unpaid time off without penalty through the end of April.The firing of Smalls had already drawn responses from other New York officials. On Monday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James said her office is “considering all legal options” in response to the termination, which she called “immoral and inhumane,” and is urging the National Labor Relations Board to investigate. On Tuesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had ordered the city’s Commission on Human Rights to “investigate Amazon immediately” to determine if Smalls was retaliated against.The AFL-CIO is the main U.S. labor federation, with 55 unions that together represent 12.5 million people. The letter is also signed by presidents of five of the largest U.S. unions, including the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union. Those two unions, which aren’t part of the AFL-CIO, together represent about 3 million more workers. The document is a sign of union leaders’ increasing focus on Amazon as a key target and reflects greater cooperation within the labor movement as they take on the behemoth firm.Amazon and labor groups have a frosty relationship. The retailer has managed to avoid organized labor in its ranks in the U.S., even as it grew into the country’s second-largest private employer in the U.S. A similar group of unions in February asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon’s market power.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is planning to open a new grocery store in Irvine, California, the second confirmed location for an as-yet-unnamed retail concept separate from the company’s Whole Foods Market chain. Amazon job postings listed this week show the retailer is hiring for managers and grocery staffers for a store in the city, located southeast of Los Angeles in Orange County. An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed plans to open a store in Irvine this year.Amazon last year said it would launch a new supermarket, also distinct from the Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores, starting with a store in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. The company’s plans in nearby Irvine had been the subject of speculation since Amazon began renovating a former Babies “R” Us there. The company has received a liquor license for the location under the name “Amazon Fresh,” the same name as its grocery delivery service. Photos of the Woodland Hills store and planning documents appear to show a conventional supermarket layout, with space for a pickup-and-returns counter. Industry analysts still expect Amazon, which has tried to avoid copycat ideas as it moves into physical retail, to bring to the store an element of high-tech shopping or automation. Amazon has also leased grocery store space in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Encino and Thousand Oaks, sources familiar with the deals have told Bloomberg. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- DoorDash Inc., the biggest food delivery app in the U.S., will start delivering goods from 7-Eleven, Wawa and other convenience stores to Americans who are mostly stuck at home for the foreseeable future.The San Francisco-based startup said it began testing the sale of paper towels and other packaged goods this year and decided to accelerate the rollout due to the coronavirus pandemic. DoorDash has more than 1,800 convenience stores around the U.S. available on the app, the company said.The new offering competes to some extent with Amazon.com Inc.’s grocery delivery service and Instacart Inc. Both companies have struggled to meet demand since the outbreak and have said they’re adding a combined 400,000 workers. This week, some workers at both companies went on strike over accusations of unfair pay and labor policies.Uber Technologies Inc. is also looking to expand its food delivery app with groceries. It owns a majority stake in Latin America’s Cornershop and intends to bring the grocery service to other countries. “That business is absolutely exploding in the right way,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive officer, said in a Bloomberg TV interview last month. “We have a global brand, and we can essentially take Cornershop and make it a global brand.”(Updates with Uber reporting in the last paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- On Mar. 18, a laid-off customer-service representative for one of the airline companies attended an Amazon.com Inc. employee orientation in Dallas. He found himself packed into a room with about 70 other applicants, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder to watch a PowerPoint presentation about what it’s like to work for the online retailer. The man, who provided a smartphone photo to document his experience, said the event was exactly like one he attended last year for a seasonal holiday job with Amazon. In other words, there were no special precautions to keep attendees safe from the coronavirus. When the man raised concerns about the crowded conditions, he said an Amazon manager mocked him and a fellow recruit sneered.“They made jokes and told me to leave if I was unhappy,” he said, adding that one manager said Amazon’s operations were exempt from the rules because the company is considered an essential service. “They didn’t care one tiny bit.” The former customer rep took the job but still worries about getting sick. Amazon also ignored official social-distancing guidelines at mid-March events near Portland, Oregon, and in Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to two applicants. A fourth person who attended an Amazon job fair in West Jefferson, Ohio, said she was sent home and asked to return another day because the gathering was too crowded, suggesting precautionary measures are in place at least at some events or Amazon is changing its practices.The absence of social distancing at Amazon hiring events recently made the rounds on social media. One user tweeted photos he said were taken at recent recruiting event in Los Angeles. Another complained on Twitter that the event she attended, where people were in close proximity on a line, wasn’t safe. She didn’t disclose the location. Bloomberg was unable to reach those people.In an emailed statement, Amazon said it has updated its recruiting practices to avoid large crowds and keep applicants safe, but it declined to say precisely when it made the change.“These situations occurred two weeks ago and we’ve since moved all new hire events and orientations to virtual platforms,” Amazon spokeswoman Lindsay Campbell said. “Any situation in which teams don’t follow social distancing guidelines are immediately investigated.”In its initial rush to hire 100,000 people to meet surging demand from customers fearful of visiting physical stores, Amazon dusted off its holiday season recruiting playbook: holding events with lines snaking through hallways and crowds packed into meeting rooms to watch videos, submit identification and fill out paperwork. The practices violate official Covid-19 safety guidelines, which include avoiding large gatherings and maintaining at least six feet of distance from others.Amazon is widely seen as an indispensable service amid the pandemic, providing such essentials as food, cleaning supplies and medicine. That hasn’t stopped critics from accusing the company of putting customers ahead of its warehouse workers. These employees aren’t simply handling essential goods but also processing returns and packing toys, clothes and cosmetics. As the outbreak spreads and more cases are confirmed among Amazon’s warehouse workforce, demonstrations and walkouts have erupted in the U.S. and Europe along with demands from lawmakers and regulators for the company to improve working conditions.On Monday, workers staged a walkout at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse, where three more cases were reported Tuesday evening; they called for the facility to be shut down for cleaning. Hours later, workers at a Chicago depot picketed outside their facility. And in Romulus, outside Detroit, on Wednesday, a group of Amazon employees lined the sidewalk of their warehouse, complaining about a lack of transparency from management and beseeching Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos to shut it down.Amazon has lauded the bravery of its workers delivering essentials during the crisis and said it’s protecting them through social distancing requirements and stepped-up cleaning.With the economy imploding, many Americans are willing to toil at an Amazon warehouse. Almost 4 in 10 would have difficulty covering a sudden $400 emergency expense, according to a survey on economic health released in May by the Federal Reserve, highlighting the precarious financial condition of many hourly workers living paycheck to paycheck. A record-breaking 3.3 million people filed jobless claims in the week ending March 21, and experts say unemployment could top 30 percent, five points higher than the Great Depression’s jobless peak.Amazon’s March 16 announcement that it would be hiring and boosting pay represents a lifeline to thousands of people who have lost their livelihoods in the travel, leisure and hospitality industries. “There are very few jobs right now, and millions of people are going to want them,” said Fred Goff, who runs Jobcase, a job search and networking site for hourly workers. “Amazon was ahead of the curve with $15 an hour and announced temporary raises. They’re not going to have a problem hiring people.”Vancouver, Washington, resident Robin Guyton, 62, is among them. She had part-time jobs bringing developmentally disabled people on outings to shopping malls and bowling alleys, but her hours were sharply reduced since everyone has to stay home. Amazon beckoned with warehouse work that pays up to $20 an hour and health benefits. She attended a hiring event near Portland in March and accepted a job offer that day.“It’s a big company and in times like this, their services are more in demand, so there’s some job security,” she said. “This whole thing took the wind out of my sails, and I just need a job to pay the bills.”Good pay, benefits and job security outweighed her alarm about the crowded job event, where she said people were packed side-by-side at tables to fill out online applications on shared computers that weren’t cleaned between uses.“I was so stunned, but I was so desperate to get the job I just did what I could by staying as far away from people as I could,” she said.Walmart Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp., Kroger Co. and CVS Health Corp. are all also ramping up recruitment to meet surging demand for essential supplies. Some have sped up hiring practices by offering virtual interviews and forgoing drug and background checks, reducing the need to pack people into big job fairs.Walmart, which is hiring 150,000 people, compressed its hiring process from approximately two weeks to just 24 hours and is giving verbal offers by phone following online assessments. Other companies like Kroger use online platforms to check the identification of applicants so a bunch of new workers don’t have to attend big events to go through government-required ID verification, said Julie Pearl, co-founder of Tracker Corp., one of several companies that provide a remote ID checking service.One speed bump for the companies hiring is a new stimulus package that includes enhanced unemployment benefits that could give some workers pause about taking grocery clerk, warehouse or delivery jobs that they think are too risky during the outbreak, said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution.“There are a lot of people with low or average pay who will find that their income when they are laid off will rise, not fall, as a result of the special unemployment benefits,” he said.Amazon could be taking steps to make some hiring events safer for applicants. One woman, who previously worked with people with disabilities, applied for an Amazon warehouse job and said she and about 20 other applicants were sent home from a hiring event in West Jefferson, Ohio, on March 21 because it was too crowded and asked to return another day.She returned three days later to find a much smaller group of about 25 people and some seats were roped off. The orientation was shortened by two hours to limit time people spent near each other, said the woman, who was between jobs when she heard an advertisement that Amazon was hiring.The warehouse manager where she works has been sending daily emails reminding employees of the importance of their jobs in keeping essential goods moving during the pandemic, she said, and hand sanitizer was available throughout the facility during her first week on the job. (Updates with worker protests.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
After one of the worst Q1, get ready for a coronavirus-riddled Q2 which makes these industries and ETFs worth a bet. These areas emerged as the top performers of Q1.
The rapid spread of coronavirus is boosting online retailing as consumer footfall decreases at physical stores. Here are some e-commerce stocks likely to benefit including AMZN, EBAY among others.
(Bloomberg) -- Chris Smalls, an Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center employee, said the company fired him after he led a strike at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, over coronavirus safety conditions.“Taking action cost me my job,” Smalls said Monday in a Bloomberg TV interview. “Because I tried to stand up for something that’s right, the company decided to retaliate against me.”A group of workers at the Staten Island fulfillment center walked off the job Monday to demand Amazon close the facility for extended cleaning, the latest in a wave of virus-related protests. They say a number of their colleagues there were diagnosed with Covid-19. Organizers say more than 60 workers participated in the protest.In a statement Monday night, New York State Attorney General Letitia James called Smalls’s firing “immoral and inhumane.” James urged the National Labor Relations Board to investigate the incident and also said her office “is considering all legal options.” On Tuesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had ordered the city’s Commission on Human Rights to “investigate Amazon immediately” as well as determine if Smalls was retaliated against.Amazon confirmed it fired Smalls, saying he violated safety regulations, including failing to abide by a 14-day quarantine required after being exposed to an employee with a confirmed case of Covid-19.“Mr. Smalls received multiple warnings for violating social distancing guidelines and putting the safety of others at risk,” Amazon said in a statement. Smalls “was asked to remain home with pay for 14 days, which is a measure we’re taking at sites around the world. Despite that instruction to stay home with pay, he came on site today, March 30, further putting the teams at risk.”Smalls called the company’s claim “ridiculous” and said he was being retaliated against for his activism. Federal law protects the right of employees to engage in collective action, including strikes, to protest working conditions.“I’m still going to continue to fight for those people inside of that building,” he said.Amazon also disputed the number of workers involved in the protest, saying it was 15 of more than 5,000 employees at the Staten Island site.“Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable,” the company said.(Updates with mayor’s comment in fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon (AMZN) partners with Lyft to provide latter's drivers with delivery drivers, warehouse and shopper job opportunities for additional income amid the crisis.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Coronavirus self-isolation is fostering a growing dependency on Amazon.com Inc. But it’s also refocusing attention on the human cost of having the entire stock of the “Everything Store” merely a click and a day away from your front doorstep.Amazon workers at a fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York are on strike, saying the company has not been responsive to safety concerns and demanding that the facility be closed for two weeks and sanitized. In Italy, Amazon reached an agreement with workers last week to provide additional virus containment measures and end an 11-day strike. Elsewhere, France’s labor minister has demanded an improvement to the working environment for the firm’s employees, saying that “protection conditions are insufficient.”The comments came a week after Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos outlined many of the company’s efforts to blunt the effects of coronavirus in an open letter posted on Instagram, including boosting worker pay in the U.S.Demand for Amazon delivery services has, meanwhile, given its stock better protection than its tech peers from the recent market pummeling. The shares are down 9.4% since Feb. 19, compared with the average 22% decline of Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc.The logical conclusion is that Amazon should be doing a lot more to protect its workers. It can afford to: It’s sitting on $55 billion in cash and is expected to generate another $34 billion of free cash flow this year.But the stark reality is that Amazon’s e-commerce business isn’t very profitable. Its cloud computing operations are the money-printing machine. That unit will enjoy a 28% operating margin on sales of some $46 billion this year, helped by the surge in internet usage caused by people logging on from home for longer, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral estimates. The company’s other $288 billion of revenue will generate operating profit of as little as $3 billion.That razor-thin profitability hints at the strict cost control upon which Amazon relies to ensure goods are delivered cheaply and quickly. Unfortunately, cost control is often a euphemism for low wages, ungenerous benefits and a squeeze on suppliers. A 2018 analysis by the Economist found that after Amazon opens a storage depot, local wages for warehouse workers fall by an average of 3%. Nor does that inspire much confidence in Amazon’s latest moves: The recently announced $2 per hour pay bump will hold only until April, while the doubling of overtime pay will expire in May — for now, at least.What’s more, workers’ negotiating power is likely to be eroded by the coronavirus crisis. The peak of U.S. labor exploitation came during the Great Depression, when everyone was scrambling for jobs, which in turn ultimately turbocharged labor organization. The number of jobseekers today is now at the highest in a half-century: A record 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week of March 21, compared with 211,000 just two weeks earlier.Bezos explicitly targeted those newly unemployed in his Instagram letter, explaining that the company would hire 100,000 additional employees to cope with increased demand. So the fact that only 100 people from a workforce of 4,000 at the Staten Island site are striking is either indicative of minimal discontent or a fear of retributive job losses (the only unionized Amazon employees in the U.S. are in its film and TV productions). As if to underscore the point, Amazon fired the worker leading the strike on Monday, ostensibly for “violating social distancing guidelines.” According to Amazon, only 15 people ultimately demonstrated in the strike, of whom just nine were actual employees.The working conditions at Amazon are partly our fault as consumers. The company has groomed us to rely on next-day deliveries at no extra cost, at least if we have a subscription to its Prime service. We probably don’t ask what it takes to make that work. For all of its Kiva warehousing robots and efforts with drone distribution, Amazon still depends on hundreds of thousands of human workers around the world. You know when you receive a massive box containing just a small parcel? That’s not because of some algorithmic misstep; it’s a person in a warehouse making a quick decision on how best to deliver your package.Amazon can for sure afford to lessen the load on its workers with better pay and working conditions, but only because of the massive success of its cloud business. It's harder for rivals to do so and still turn a profit. The dilemma is accentuated by, but not peculiar to, the current crisis. If that’s to change, we as customers must also be prepared to pay higher prices — and that’s as true in good times as it is in bad.(Updates with Amazon details on size of strike.)This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Some workers at Whole Foods Market stores across the U.S. called in sick on Tuesday, part of a coordinated action to demand more sick pay and protections for grocery store employees working through the coronavirus pandemic.It’s unclear how many people participated. An organizer said they didn’t have an estimate, and a Whole Foods spokeswoman didn't provide a tally, but said the strike hadn't disrupted operations.Bloomberg News interviewed workers in five states, from Illinois and Texas to the Eastern Seaboard, who say they joined colleagues calling in sick. They cite as reasons for participating fear of contracting or spreading the coronavirus to family members and disputes with managers about appropriate measure to protect themselves, among other things. The sickout strike is the latest in a string of efforts by employees of businesses that remain open during the pandemic to extract protections and better working conditions from their employers. Workers at Perdue Farms Inc., McDonald’s Corp., and General Electric Co. have protested. Walmart Inc. said this week it was experiencing higher than normal absenteeism among its workforce, but that it was "manageable." On Monday, some employees at Amazon.com Inc.’s Staten Island, New York, warehouse walked off the job to protest the company’s handling of coronavirus cases in the facility.Organizers of the Whole Foods action have circulated a petition signed by more than 10,500 people asking for paid leave for all workers who choose to isolate themselves, health care coverage for part-time employees and funds to cover testing and treatment of sick team members. Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, in January stopped providing health care benefits for part-time employees who work less than 30 hours a week. The upscale grocer has rolled out temporary raises of $2 an hour through April, increased overtime compensation, and says employees placed in quarantine or diagnosed with Covid-19 are eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave, policies in place throughout Amazon’s workforce. Rachel Malish, a Whole Foods spokeswoman, on Tuesday pointed to those actions and others the company says it’s taking to safeguard employees. “So far today we have seen no changes to overall absenteeism and we continue to operate all of our stores without interruption,” she said in an emailed statement. “There is no higher priority for us than taking care of our Team Members.” Malish said the critiques from “a small but vocal group” don’t accurately reflect the collective view of the grocer’s 95,000 employees. One Whole Foods worker in the Chicago area who joined the strike on Tuesday said working at the grocer felt like a public service a few weeks ago, when aisles were full of shoppers panic buying. But as business slowed to a more normal level—and the virus spread to communities across the country—the employee no longer thinks coming to work is worth the risk. “It’s really hard for people to stay safe,” the employee said. “Workers are being forced to choose between their safety and the safety of their loved ones and being able to pay their bills.”The worker spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from her employer. Some Whole Foods workers said Amazon’s firing on Monday of Chris Smalls, an organizer of the Amazon walkout in Staten Island, made them reluctant to speak publicly. Amazon says he was dismissed for violating the terms of an company-ordered quarantine after he was sent home with pay for coming into contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. Smalls disputes that. Strike organizers also called for Whole Foods to shut down any store where a worker tests positive for Covid-19, a demand grocery workers share with some of their colleagues employed in Amazon’s logistics network. Amazon, which says it’s doing enhanced cleaning of its facilities, has opted to keep warehouses where employees tested positive open, over the objection of some employees scared to return. The strike was called for by Whole Worker, a coalition of current and former employees that has been working to organize workers since 2018, initially with aid from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. An RWDSU spokeswoman said the New York based union isn’t involved in Tuesday’s action. Whole Foods, whose chief executive John Mackey once said was “beyond unions,” has resisted prior efforts by workers to organize, a similar stance to its corporate parent.(Updates with comments from Whole Foods spokeswoman)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
AWS announces general availability of Amazon Detective, a new security service that makes it easy for customers to conduct security investigations