GE - General Electric Company

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
-0.17 (-2.46%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT
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Previous close6.90
Bid6.70 x 43500
Ask6.72 x 42300
Day's range6.58 - 7.05
52-week range5.90 - 13.26
Avg. volume84,815,188
Market cap58.551B
Beta (5Y monthly)1.14
PE ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-0.62
Earnings date28 Apr 2020
Forward dividend & yield0.04 (0.57%)
Ex-dividend date05 Mar 2020
1y target est11.16
  • General Electric Stock Falls 4%

    General Electric Stock Falls 4% - General Electric (NYSE:GE) Stock fell by 3.92% to trade at $6.62 by 14:23 (18:23 GMT) on Friday on the NYSE exchange.

  • Grim Global Mark for Infections; N.Y. Cases Rise: Virus Update

    Grim Global Mark for Infections; N.Y. Cases Rise: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- In four months, the new coronavirus infected more than 1 million people and killed more than 51,000. The U.S. accounts for a quarter of the cases. Italy and Spain represent almost half the deaths.British Airways furloughed 30,000 staff and cut pay. Portugal closed airports during Easter. New York City reported a rise in new cases.The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits more than doubled to a record 6.65 million. In Britain, almost 1 million people claimed welfare payments in two weeks. Stocks gained as oil surged.Key Developments:Global cases top 1 million; deaths exceed 51,000: Johns HopkinsNations with mandatory TB vaccines show fewer coronavirus deathsLA urges city to mask up; NY, NJ deaths double in three daysLocked up, beaten and shamed: virus laws lead to abusePalantir’s new ‘driving thrust’: predicting virus outbreaksLife-or-death hospital decisions come with threat of lawsuitsTrump Issues Order on Supplies (4:40 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump issued an order under the Defense Production Act to speed production of ventilators after state officials raised alarm that supplies are inadequate.Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that General Electric Co., Hill-Rom Holdings Inc., Medtronic Plc, ResMed Inc., Royal Philips NV and Vyaire Medical Inc. obtain needed supplies. The order doesn’t name the suppliers to companies manufacturing ventilators.Trump has expressed reluctance to use the law, comparing it to nationalizing industries. He has said he prefers to use threats to invoke the act as leverage to force companies to comply.Tennessee Issues Stay-at-Home Order (4:25 p.m. NY)Tennessee is requiring citizens to remain at home, ending one of the last holdouts by U.S. states. Governor Bill Lee, who had previously only urged residents to stay home, said he made the decision after seeing traffic data showing people were traveling more.Ohio Extends Stay-Home Order (4:15 p.m. NY)Ohio Governor Mike DeWine extended a stay-at-home order that closes non-essential businesses through May 1. The order was set to expire April 6 but is still needed with models showing the peak of the outbreak expected by mid-May, the governor said. Stores will be asked to set, post, and enforce limits on number of customers inside at at any one time.Germany’s Deaths Top 1,000 (3:15 p.m. NY)Deaths in Germany climbed to 1,074 Thursday, a day after the government extended a nationwide lockdown beyond Easter. The toll was 931 the previous day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed cases increased to 84,264 -- the third-highest in Europe -- from 77,981.The head of Germany’s public health authority said this week he expects the nation’s relatively low death rate of 0.8% to rise in the next few weeks.NYC Ambulance Response Slows (3 p.m. NY)New York City ambulances are taking almost three minutes longer than usual to respond to the most critical distress calls as administrative bottlenecks in emergency rooms cause delays, even as streets are uncharacteristically clear.Response times in March averaged 10 minutes and 7 seconds, according to New York City Fire Department records, compared with an average 7 minutes, 15 seconds in the same period a year earlier. Ambulances sometimes wait as long as an hour to deliver patients to an ER, said Anthony Almojera, an EMS technician and vice president of the fire department’s EMS Officers Union Local 3621.Sressed-out drivers and paramedics will get some help from 250 more ambulances and 500 specialists that the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent to the city this week.Portugal Shuts Airports (2:40 p.m. NY)Portugal’s airports will be closed April 9-13 as the nation deals with the outbreak during the Easter holiday period. The government also is limiting the number of passengers on flights to put distance between travelers, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in Lisbon on Thursday.President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa earlier extended the state of emergency for two weeks through April 17. The number of confirmed cases in Portugal rose 9.5% to 9,034, slower than the two previous daily increases.U.S. Layoffs Lead to Lost Insurance (1:10 p.m. NY)Some 3.5 million American workers probably lost their employer-provided health insurance policies in the past two weeks as the epidemic triggered an unprecedented wave of layoffs, according to research published Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute.The “very rough estimate” is based on industry-specific unemployment claims filed in Washington state, which had the earliest U.S. outbreak.It’s hard to be precise because some laid-off workers will be able to get insurance via Obamacare exchanges or a family member who still has a job, or will qualify for government coverage under Medicaid, the EPI said. On the other hand, the 3.5 million doesn’t include spouses or children of the newly unemployed who may now be without coverage.N.Y. New Cases Rise Almost 9,000 (1 p.m. NY)New York’s coronavirus outbreak shows no signs of abating, with almost 8,700 new infections, 1,200 new hospitalizations, 400 new ICU admissions and more than 400 new deaths, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.Cuomo said at the current infection rate, the state is six days away from exhausting its stockpile of breathing machines. About 350 new patients per night need ventilation, and the state has about 2,200 stockpiled.Unlike other states that claim to have received faulty ventilators from the U.S. stockpile, Cuomo says all those received by New York appear to be in working order.British Airways Staff Furloughed (12:45 p.m. NY)British Airways, which grounded most of its fleet as travel demand slumped, will furlough about 28,000 employees and pay them 80% of their usual pay, the Unite union said Thursday after labor talks. The U.K. government will cover up to 2,500 pounds ($3,095) a month under a national plan, with the airline picking up wages beyond that level.The airline is following other carriers in furloughing workers as the virus wipes out global travel demand. Among U.K. rivals, EasyJet Plc laid off cabin crew for two months Monday after grounding its entire fleet, while staff at Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. have signed up for eight-week breaks, extended sabbaticals or voluntary severance.Netherlands Urges Quarantine for U.S. Travelers (12:40 p.m. NY)Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on citizens returning to the Netherlands from the U.S. to self-quarantine for 14 days, press agency ANP reports.The same is being asked for all citizens who are being repatriated. Rutte also called on residents in neighboring Germany and Belgium to stay away in the long Easter weekend.Pence Says 100,000 Get Tested (12:34 p.m. NY)Vice President Mike Pence said more than 100,000 Americans are now being tested daily for coronavirus, as the government tries to ramp up its lagging response to tracking the outbreak.A weekend breakthrough on point-of-care testing by Abbott Laboratories will make an additional 50,000 tests available each day, Pence said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg Television.There have been about 1.2 million coronavirus tests performed in the U.S. as of noon Thursday, according to the Covid 19 Tracking Project, which examines data supplied by states.Italy Infections Slow (12:20 p.m. NY)Italy reported 4,668 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday compared with 4,782 a day earlier, as growth in infections slowed.The nation had 760 deaths as the number of fatalities rose again after three weeks of nationwide lockdown.The toll over the past 24 hours compared with 727 on Wednesday, according to figures from the civil protection agency.Remy Cointreau Takes Hit on China Sales (12:20 p.m. NY)Remy Cointreau SA, one of the world’s largest sellers of Cognac, cut its forecast for the fiscal year and said it expects profit to be down between 25% and 30%. Producers of the spirit are enduring a collapse in sales from China as a result of the coronavirus. The country had previously grown to become one of the most important sales markets for Cognac and other European luxury goods. Just under a third of Remy Cointreau’s revenue comes from Asia, with China being the largest market in the region.Democrats Postpone Convention (12:05 p.m. NY)The Democratic National Committee on Thursday postponed the presidential nominating convention from July to Aug. 17 due to concerns about the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the decision. The delay comes after likely presidential nominee Joe Biden said it should be pushed back for safety reasons.Pelosi Forming Panel to Oversee Stimulus (11:35 a.m. NY)U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will create a select committee with subpoena power to oversee the government’s response to the outbreak, including how the $2.2 trillion from last week’s stimulus plan is spent.Pelosi on Thursday compared the committee to the panel chaired by then-Senator Harry Truman in the 1940s to investigate defense spending as the country mobilized for World War II.“We want to make sure there are not exploiters out there,” she told reporters. “Where there is money, there is mischief.”Putin Extends Lockdown Through April 30 (10:36 a.m. NY)President Vladimir Putin extended his order keeping Russians at home until April 30, warning that the spread of coronavirus has yet to reach its peak.The Russian leader said certain parts of Russia, including Moscow, haven’t managed to get the situation under control. He said he would give additional authority to regional leaders to determine the level of response locally. He noted that the stay-at-home period could be shortened if the situation improves.Russia has more than 3,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus after a 28% increase overnight.NYC Business Activity Falls (10:30 a.m. NY)A measure of business activity in the New York City area sank to the lowest level on record in March. The Institute for Supply Management-New York’s current business conditions index fell 39 points last month to 12.9, the lowest in data back to 1993 and well below its 27.1 reading duriing the global financial crisis. Levels below 50 signal contracting activity.Kenya to Hire Health Workers (10:15 a.m. NY)Kenya is set to hire 6,000 health workers to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, with 5,000 deployed to counties and 1,000 will remain at the national hospitals, Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said.Kenya has confirmed 110 Covid-19 cases and three deaths.Walgreens Flags Sales Downturn (9:43 a.m. NY)Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. executives said sales have started to decline at its drugstores as a result of the pandemic, though the full impact on its business won’t be known for months.U.S. consumers had raced early last month to stock up on drugs, cleaning supplies and toilet paper as they prepared to stay at home to avoid getting or spreading Covid-19. Now, that rush appears to be ebbing.Amazon Hires 80,000, Steps Up Warehouse Safety (9:24 a.m. NY) Inc. said it has hired 80,000 people to help meet demand for online orders and has stepped up safety precautions at its U.S warehouses.Dave Clark, Amazon’s logistics chief, said in a blog on Thursday that Amazon would probably go “well beyond” its previous estimate of an additional $350 million in costs to support a growing workforce.Germany Backs Use of Bailout Fund (9:15 a.m. NY)The government in Berlin says it’s ready to send an “unambiguous signal” to markets by letting countries tap the European Stability Mechanism, the euro area’s rescue fund, to help them deal with the fallout of the pandemic.That’s according to a position paper seen by Bloomberg, which also advocates setting up a 50 billion-euro fund to guarantee loans to small and medium-sized companies, especially in countries that don’t have their own development banks. Germany also said it would welcome a European unemployment reinsurance.U.S. Jobless Claims Doubled to Record Last Week: (8:38 a.m. NY)The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits more than doubled to a second straight record as the coronavirus widened its reach and closed more businesses.A total of 6.65 million people filed jobless claims in the week ended March 28, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday, as many stores and restaurants were forced to close across the nation to mitigate the outbreak.U.K.’s Johnson Still Has Mild Symptoms (8:24 a.m. NY)U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to show mild symptoms after contracting Covid-19, his spokesman, James Slack, said at a briefing with reporters.New Cases in Italy’s Lombardy Region Remain Flat (8:21 a.m. NY)Lombardy’s trend of new virus cases remains flat, with no increases in the last 24 hours, the region’s governor, Attilio Fontana, said at a press conference on Thursday.“It seems what our experts have predicted is happening, and that in a few days we might see a blessed decline in the pandemic trend,” Fontana said.Germany Sees Economy Contracting 5% in 2020 (7:43 a.m. NY)The national output is expected to contract more than 5% in 2020, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said. Germany’s economy could be in position for “reasonable growth” next year, he added. Angela Merkel’s government was widely anticipated to slash its forecast from the pre-crisis prediction of 1.1% growth.Amgen Joins Hunt for Coronavirus Drug, DJ Says (7:35 a.m. NY)Amgen Inc. and Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp. are partnering to develop a drug to treat the coronavirus, Dow Jones reported on Thursday, citing an interview with David Reese, Amgen’s executive vice president of research and development.No Decisions on Domestic Travel Ban, Fauci Says (7:32 a.m. NY)“It’s on the table,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci says about whether the U.S. has any plans to restrict domestic travel. “We look at that literally every day,” he said. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he’s looking at domestic travel limits for virus hot spots.HK Orders Bars, Pubs to Close (7:28 a.m. NY)Hong Kong has ordered bars and pubs to close for 14 days from April 3. The city earlier reported 37 new cases, taking its total to 802.Boeing Offers Voluntary Buyouts (7:24 a.m. NY)Boeing Co. offered voluntary buyouts to eligible employees, in a bid to quickly shed costs and adjust its work force of 161,000 to a coronavirus crisis that’s quickly undermined the outlook for aircraft sales. The move will preserve much-needed cash at Boeing, which is facing a sharp contraction in demand along with its European rival Airbus SE.Airline customers around the world have slashed schedules, with some parking their entire fleets as the coronavirus pandemic guts travel. About 44% of aircraft across the globe are in storage.ECB Delays Strategic Review (7:21 a.m. NY)The big policy rethink, which was supposed to become the hallmark of President Christine Lagarde’s presidency, will be completed by the middle of next year, or six months later than initially planned, the ECB said on Thursday.EU Says It Should Have Acted Faster to Help Italy (7:05 a.m. NY)In a letter to Italian newspaper la Repubblica, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted the bloc was late in understanding the scale of the outbreak in Italy and slow to act. She said Brussels has done far better recently.The unusual admission comes amid fear that Italy’s debt market is still vulnerable to a mass exodus by investors, even with the European Central Bank offering support through its 750 billion-euro ($820 billion) bond-buying program. The country’s yield spread over Germany, a key gauge of risk in the country remains elevated after last month’s virus-induced rout.Biden Says Sees Democratic Convention Delayed to August (7 a.m. NY)“I think it’s going to have to move into August,” Biden said in an interview on “The Tonight Show.” “I doubt whether the Democratic convention is going to be able to be held in mid-July.”Norway’s Wealth Fund Lost a Record $113 Billion in 1Q (6:41 a.m. NY)Norway’s sovereign wealth fund lost a record 1.17 trillion kroner in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic roiled stock markets. The loss comes as the fund for the first time faces forced asset sales to cover emergency spending by the government to weather the impact on the richest Nordic economy.Stanchart CEO Says U.K., U.S. Acted Too Late (6:35 a.m. NY)Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters said authorities in London and Washington have been too slow in ordering the type of lockdown that China used to control the outbreak. Speaking on Bloomberg Television, Winters became one of the highest-profile CEOs to criticize the Western response to the pandemic, saying the U.S. and U.K. had acted “too late.”“I find it interesting to listen to the debate now that we in the West, or in the U.K., or in the U.S., couldn’t have done what the Chinese did because we don’t have that kind of society,” Winters said. “Well, we are doing what the Chinese did; we’re just doing it too late.”EU’s Borrell Warns of Pandemic ‘Spiraling Out of Control’ (6:30 a.m. NY)European Union foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc must mobilize help for poor countries. “Globally, it is to be feared that the worst is yet to come,” Borrell said in a letter to foreign ministers as they prepare to hold a video conference Friday. “Countries already affected by conflicts or mismanagement are particularly vulnerable.”Jobless Claims Soar As Lockdowns Bite (6:20 a.m. NY)Earlier on Thursday, Spain said claims rose by a record 302,265 in March. Spain, one of the countries at the center of Europe’s outbreak, already has an unemployment rate that’s among the highest in the developed world.Almost a million people have claimed welfare payments in Britain over the past two weeks and even Finland, one of the world’s best-funded welfare states, is starting to crack. In Ireland, more than 300,000 people are on government support and 200,000 are classed as unemployed -- that’s a total of about half a million people in a country where around 2.3 million were in work before the crisis.And one-third of Thailand’s population has registered for government cash handouts designed to soften the blow of the novel coronavirus outbreak, far exceeding the funds available for the policy.Brexit Delay May Be Inevitable (6 a.m. NY)Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he won’t delay Britain’s final parting with the European Union at the end of the year. Empty meeting rooms across Whitehall suggest delay is all but inevitable.Business lobbyists say government officials have canceled most meetings to prepare for Brexit as civil servants are pulled away to deal with the growing coronavirus pandemic. It’s now only a question of how Johnson will sell a delay to the British public, rather than whether or not one will happen, they say.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.

  • Coronavirus update: Global deaths surpass 50K, initial jobless claims spike to 6.6M
    Yahoo Finance

    Coronavirus update: Global deaths surpass 50K, initial jobless claims spike to 6.6M

    The coronavirus pandemic hit its newest grim milestone of 50,000 deaths Thursday and 1 million cases, according to John’s Hopkins University.

  • GE to furlough 50% of U.S. engine assembly, component manufacturing ops staff

    GE to furlough 50% of U.S. engine assembly, component manufacturing ops staff

    The furloughs will be in addition to the about 2,600 U.S. job cuts announced last month by GE's aviation unit, which makes engines for Boeing Co and Airbus SE aircraft. "Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the commercial aviation industry, GE aviation is implementing a temporary reduction...for up to four weeks," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

  • General Electric Stock Falls 3%

    General Electric Stock Falls 3% - General Electric (NYSE:GE) Stock fell by 3.12% to trade at $6.82 by 14:22 (18:22 GMT) on Thursday on the NYSE exchange.

  • General Electric Stock Rises 3%

    General Electric Stock Rises 3% - General Electric (NYSE:GE) Stock rose by 3.12% to trade at $7.26 by 10:33 (14:33 GMT) on Thursday on the NYSE exchange.

  • Banks wary of liquidity extend expensive, shorter-dated credit to GE

    Banks wary of liquidity extend expensive, shorter-dated credit to GE

    General Electric Co is asking its lenders to replace US$20bn in revolving loans with a new debt package that will come with a smaller size and shorter maturities, sources said. The new loans, that will come at the reduced size of US$15bn, are a testament to a changing bank landscape as firms seek to get better compensated for the risk they take to lend as volatility rattles the markets. JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley lead the GE loans.

  • Danaher Closes Buyout of General Electric's BioPharma Business

    Danaher Closes Buyout of General Electric's BioPharma Business

    Danaher (DHR) completes the acquisition of General Electric's BioPharma business. The buyout will likely strengthen the company's biologics workflow solutions business.

  • General Electric Closes Divestment of BioPharma to Danaher

    General Electric Closes Divestment of BioPharma to Danaher

    General Electric (GE) completes the divestment of its BioPharma business to Danaher. The net proceeds received from the transaction will be used by General Electric to lower its debt burden.

  • Business Wire

    GE Announces Completion of BioPharma Sale to Danaher, Receives $20 Billion Net Cash Proceeds

    GE (NYSE:GE) announced today the completion of the sale of its BioPharma business to Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) ("Danaher") for approximately $20 billion of net proceeds.

  • General Electric (GE) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    General Electric (GE) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, General Electric (GE) closed at $7.92, marking a +0.38% move from the previous day.

  • Bloomberg

    Whole Foods Workers Launch Sickout Protest. How Many Isn’t Clear

    (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 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.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Rolls-Royce targets in jeopardy as pandemic brings air travel slump

    British aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce will likely have to slash its 2020 cash flow target after airline customers parked hundreds of planes due to the coronavirus pandemic, analysts said. Rolls last updated the market at the end of February, when it forecast 2020 free cash flow of 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion), excluding any material impact from COVID-19. Jefferies analyst Sandy Morris said he could see free cash flow drop into negative territory this year, even with the firm's 400 million pound cost cuts, based on flying hours which could be down about two-thirds for four months of 2020.

  • Amazon Workers Cite Health Concern in Demands for Better Pay

    Amazon Workers Cite Health Concern in Demands for Better Pay

    (Bloomberg) -- Inc., Instacart Inc. and other companies providing food, medicine and other essentials are about to find out whether the pandemic can accomplish what organized labor has struggled to do: give employees and contractors the leverage to extract better working conditions.Some employees at Amazon’s Staten Island, New York, warehouse walked off the job on Monday, calling for the company to shut the facility for extended cleaning after they say a number of their colleagues were diagnosed with Covid-19. Instacart workers called for a nationwide strike on Monday over safety and pay concerns. And, if a petition circulating online gets traction, workers at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market plan to call in sick en masse on Tuesday.As coronavirus cases pop up at warehouses and supermarkets, workers -- cheered on by politicians and labor activists -- have begun demanding better pay, sick leave and on-the-job protections from the deadly respiratory virus. Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the U.S., has long been the target of efforts to organize its workforce. They have generally failed.“These things do sometimes take on a life of their own, and I wonder if we’re in one of those moments where workers are starting to stand up in greater and greater numbers because of the magnitude of the threat they’re facing,” said Brishen Rogers, an associate law professor at Temple University.Organizers face long odds should they pursue formal unionization. Forming unions in the U.S. is difficult, and the coronavirus has both flooded the market with potential new hires and made large labor rallies impractical. Organizers of the Staten Island walkout say more than 60 employees participated; video from a protest appeared to show a sparser crowd.“You could come out of this seeing much greater levels of worker organization within Whole Foods and Amazon that could in the future grow into formal unions,” Rogers said. In the meantime, “I think they’ll respond by changing policies, in part to avoid unionization.”In an emailed statement, Amazon said 15 people out of a workforce of 5,000 participated in the Staten Island demonstration, and called their critiques “completely unfounded.”“Our employees are heroes fighting for their communities and helping people get critical items they need in this crisis,” the company said. “Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable.” Amazon says it has stepped up cleaning inside its facilities, and that it is supporting employees diagnosed with Covid-19.Instacart said it has seen “absolutely no impact” from the strike and that workers’ earnings are up on average. The company added about 50,000 new workers as so-called Instacart shoppers in the last week, and there were 40% more people working on Monday compared with the same day last year, the company said. “Our goal is to offer a safe and flexible earnings opportunity to shoppers, while also proactively taking the appropriate measures to operate safely,” a spokeswoman for Instacart wrote in an email.A Whole Foods spokeswoman said the grocer is “committed to prioritizing our team members’ well-being, while recognizing their extraordinary dedication.” Despite the walkout and threatened sick-out at Whole Foods, Amazon shares climbed 3.4% Monday, closing at $1,963.95, alongside market-wide gains in the U.S.Worker protests over coronavirus workplace conditions have also recently hit companies like Perdue Farms, McDonald’s Corp. and General Electric Co., where employees at a Massachusetts site Monday protested -- standing six feet apart -- to demand the company deploy workers to manufacture ventilators in-house.Amazon boosted its $15 an hour starting pay in the U.S. by $2 an hour through the end of April, and raised overtime pay. Workers at an Amazon warehouse in northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak, on Friday said they’d reached an agreement that guaranteed workers an additional five minute break to help practice personal hygiene, and made permanent temporary enhanced cleaning protocols rolled out during the pandemic.It remains to be seen whether Amazon will be pushed into broader concessions for the workers who pack and ship packages to customers. The U.S. labor market is teeming with millions of newly unemployed workers as large portions of the economy shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. Amazon has said it hopes to hire an additional 100,000 workers to deal with a surge in online shopping by people asked to stay home. Wholesale closings of large chunks of Amazon’s logistics network seem unlikely, say people who follow the company.Amazon’s responses to worker agita have been rolled out in piecemeal fashion over the last two weeks. When the first coronavirus cases appeared in European warehouses, the company began doing things like removing chairs from break rooms and turning off the metal detectors employees were previously asked to go through on their way out of buildings. Over the weekend, Amazon said it would begin screening some employees in the Seattle and New York areas for fevers, a program Amazon plans to roll out at sites nationwide.In the U.S., Amazon has also reoriented some work to spread out employees and closed locker rooms. Still several employees who work at facilities across the country have expressed alarm at the decision to keep some facilities with confirmed coronavirus cases open. The only Amazon warehouse known to have closed for an extended period -- a warehouse in Shepherdsville, Kentucky -- was set to reopen last week before the state governor intervened.Amazon says it follows public health recommendations for cleaning its sites, and that it reviews video footage to determine who sick employees came into extended contact with. Those workers are asked to go home and into a 14-day quarantine.Amazon has promised two weeks of sick pay to all employees diagnosed with Covid-19 or ordered into a quarantine; some workers, and a group of U.S. senators, say that’s insufficient.Emboldened workers can expect consumers to back them if they don’t think companies are protecting their health, said Nelson Lichtenstein, a history professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. “Here’s a crisis,” he said, “which makes it absolutely clear how important they are.”(Updates with Instacart reporting in the ninth 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.

  • Ford, GE to produce 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

    Ford, GE to produce 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

    Ford Motor Co said on Monday it will produce 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days at a plant in Michigan in cooperation with General Electric's healthcare unit, and can then build 30,000 per month as needed to treat patients afflicted with the coronavirus. Ford said the simplified ventilator design, which is licensed by GE Healthcare from Florida-based Airon Corp and has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, can meet the needs of most COVID-19 patients and relies on air pressure without the need for electricity. Officials in states hard hit by the pandemic have pleaded with the Trump administration and manufacturers to speed up production of ventilators to cope with a surge in patients struggling to breathe.

  • Here's a list of CEOs taking pay cuts amid the coronavirus crisis
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