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  • Amazon, Instacart strikes
  • CA’s employment law
  • Governments’ aid responses
  • End of sharing economy?


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Bloomberg

Uber told investors this month that it expected to close out the year with between $4 billion and $6 billion in cash. That’s a lot of money, but it’s never a good sign when a company is assuring investors it won’t run completely dry.


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VICE

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the independent music industry has been swift and devastating. Escalating in the run-up to festival season, all upcoming events – including Coachella and Glastonbury – have been cancelled or postponed, with those happening later in the year faced with the difficult decision of whether to cut their losses now or continue in the hope they’ll be able to go ahead.


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The Guardian

Last week, Bob (not his real name) clocked in for a shift at Tesco’s 185,000 sq metre (2m sq ft) depot in Livingston, Scotland. He loaded his HGV with 25 tonnes of food, toilet rolls and toiletries, and drove 25 miles to a Tesco supermarket in Musselburgh. The staff waiting to unload his lorry seemed strung out. The store was heaving, they told Bob. Everyone kept buying toilet paper. It was busier than Christmas.


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Vox

“If you want to keep away from working around crowds of people and you’re looking for a way to earn money from home ~~ I’ve got an excellent opportunity for you!…Avoid exposure to the Corona Virus and still provide for your family in such an amazing way.”


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They may not get a lot of attention, but multilevel marketing structures are a very particular niche of the working world. Here Stephanie Parker delves into it, including allegations of pyramid schemes and what is happening during the coronavirus pandemic.

Business Insider

Some of these six workers have filed for unemployment, and some are worried about their coworkers.


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CNN

With coronavirus spreading across the globe, thousands of travelers have called off plans for vacations, work trips and family visits.


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Associated Press

That’s the urgent question for small business owners who have been devastated by the coronavirus outbreak. They’re awaiting help from the $2 trillion rescue package signed into law Friday. But with bills fast coming due, no end to business closings and an economy that’s all but shut down, owners are worried about survival.


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Independent

The coronavirus crisis has taught us an overdue lesson about work: we have learned what kinds matter. Workers the government just one month ago designated “low-skilled” are now “key workers”, including supermarket and warehouse workers, carers, cleaners, couriers, bus drivers and refuse collectors. Many of these workforces have been transformed over the past decade by the gig economy and corporate outsourcing, leaving them highly precarious and poorly waged. Yet these are the workers that keep society going.


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LA Times

Kathrin Kana juggles a few jobs: She’s a voice-over actor, a yoga instructor and a home organizer. But after the coronavirus outbreak and the stay-at-home order implemented to contain it made gigs around Los Angeles hard to come by, Kana watched her bank account balance dwindle to $36 last Friday. Seeing few options that wouldn’t involve jeopardizing her health, she tried to sign up to transcribe audio clips for Rev.com from the comfort of her home.


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Bloomberg

After months of industry turbulence, the likes of Lime and Bird are rethinking their business strategies as travel demand plummets.


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Vice

Workers say they will strike Tuesday because the Amazon subsidiary has failed to prioritize their safety during a period of record sales.


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Gig workers are among the small number of workers who are still out an about, providing goods to those trapped in their houses. While the week is still young, the big news on the gig economy front may be strikes from Amazon and Instacart, the food delivery company. Motherboard reports here.

LA Times

Teresa Trejo has spent the last two decades shuttling between jobs at the L.A. Convention Center and Dodger Stadium. Her work as a barista and a bartender serves as the main source of income for her family, which includes her 7-year-old son, whose fears around the coronavirus have steadily grown.


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The Telegraph

Until just a few weeks ago, the so-called sharing economy looked like the future. Young people, the story goes, do not like to own things, preferring instead to rent everything from cars and bikes to holiday homes and furniture.


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The Verge

Grocery delivery company Instacart said today that a planned work stoppage by its shoppers had “absolutely no impact on Instacart’s operations” and claims it sold more groceries over the past 72 hours “than ever before.”


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Gizmodo

In these scary, lonely times, delivery — be it for groceries, made-to-order food, or household essential — is seeing far more demand than usual. Now, in a move ostensibly intended to help its drivers “find new ways to earn,” Uber is asking them to make food deliveries for its courier service Uber Eats.


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The Guardian

It was a relief to see the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, however belatedly, introduce measures to protect the incomes of those in work during the coronavirus pandemic. What remains a mystery, however, is the huge disparity between the support offered to PAYE employees and the self-employed. While the former can expect the government to pay 80% of their wages, the latter – more than 5 million people – get a derisory £94 per week if they claim universal credit.


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Reuters

On his delivery route through Orange County, California, Joseph Alvarado made 153 stops one day last week for Amazon.com Inc, touching the inside and outside of his van, more than 225 packages, and dozens of customers’ doors and gates.


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Times of India

BENGALURU: The livelihood of about 85% of daily and weekly wage workers in Bengaluru has been severely affected due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, a survey has shown. The survey was conducted by various trade unions, which interviewed scores of workers over the phone, seeking their view on the impact of the lockdown.


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ABC Australia

Like hundreds of thousands of other Australians, Heather Rose — the author of the Stella Prize-winning Museum of Modern Love — spent two and a half hours on hold to Centrelink on Tuesday.


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CNET

The gig economy companies promised workers paid leave if they got the virus or were quarantined. Here are stories from five people who’ve struggled to get help.


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Reuters

U.S. gig economy workers such as Uber and app-based delivery drivers would be allowed to claim unemployment benefits under a $2 trillion package awaiting final congressional votes Friday, but how those benefits will be distributed is not clear.


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In the U.S. action by Congress has provided some relief for workers including direct payments and changes to unemployment benefits. Here Reuters breaks down why this is a movement in debates about classifying gig workers as contractors or employees.

Jacobin

Another problem concerns its workers’ status. Like food-platform companies in other countries, Wolt considers its “partners” to be independent contractors rather than employees, meaning that they don’t receive benefits associated with employment, such as sick pay. Wolt has offered some assistance to couriers, such as a 50kr ($7) discount on hand sanitizer and a form of partial sick pay if they are proven to have contracted COVID-19 — although, currently, Denmark is only testing those with severe symptoms


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LA Mag

Out of work and low on funds, renters are already receiving texts and letters from landlords warning them they have to pay up


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The New York Times

States like New York and California have made gig workers eligible for jobless benefits and sick days. But the companies have resisted complying


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Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – 24-year-old Prio Opelanio finds himself locked up in his New York home for a week in the city that never sleeps.


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