As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the U.S., truckers and parcel delivery workers have become indispensable in the fight to move products to end consumers. An increasing number of people are now shutting themselves indoors, relying completely on online shopping to get their essentials. For the drivers and delivery workers, the usual practice of going door-to-door delivering shipment now comes mixed with anxiety regarding their health and safety.
Workers across the board are now raising their voices, demanding companies give them additional compensation for the extra workload and the risks they are bearing as they deliver every day. Labor tension led Amazon warehouse workers to walk out on March 30, calling out the company for not providing them hazard pay and free virus testing. An open petition by unionized UPS workers on Change.org demands hazard pay, while a Teamsters branch in Pennsylvania accused UPS of not providing employees with necessary safety equipment while they were out delivering.
Did you know?
Traffic at Walmart Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp. dropped for the first time in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic ramped up in the United States. Traffic was down 6.7%, 8.7% and 20.5% year-on-year for the third week of March for Walmart, Costco and Target respectively.
“Manufacturing conditions are likely to get worse. Increasingly strict lockdown measures, both in the eurozone and globally, will shut even more factories. Rising layoffs in the industrial sector reported in March mean factories won’t be able to immediately restore production once containment measures are lifted.”
– Rosie Colthorpe, an economist at Oxford Economics, on sharply declining production and falling new orders across the world.
In other news
Amazon struggles to find its coronavirus footing
Tech giant faces overwhelming demand, mass absences and a restive workforce. (WSJ)
Coronavirus expected to cripple US auto sales
Due to skyrocketing jobless claims, weakening consumer confidence and state orders for residents to stay at home, automakers are expected to report their worst sales declines in years. (CNBC)
Oil giants turn on each other as crude prices plummet
The continued face off between Russia and Saudi Arabia is not boding well for the future of oil. (Oilprice)
On-demand shuttle startup Via hits $2.25 billion valuation following Series E round
Via, which employs about 700 people, plans to use the fresh investment to expand its partnerships and the software services piece of its business. (TechCrunch)
Drivers to Uber CEO: ‘Get out of the way’ of unemployment relief we’re allowed by law
NYC-based drivers’ advocates say that Uber is hindering drivers’ access to unemployment insurance in New York, one of the hardest-hit U.S. states in the pandemic. (Forbes)
In a survey undertaken by PwC with chief financial officers (CFOs) of different logistics companies, a growing number of them expected to widen the breadth of their supply chains following the COVID-19 crisis. The share of CFOs planning to diversify their sourcing rose from 30% on March 11 to 42% on March 25 – a direct result of the pandemic. Companies that had their sourcing centered around China and southeast Asia will now look to expand their sourcing locations, ideally spreading them across the planet.
Hammer down everyone!