Whole Foods employees say Amazon workers are crowding stores, ignoring virus protocols, and hounding them for help as online orders surge

Laveta Brigham

Amazon Prime Now grocery orders are surging, and some Whole Foods employees say it's causing problems in stores. <p class="copyright">Bruce Bennett/Getty Images</p>
Amazon Prime Now grocery orders are surging, and some Whole Foods employees say it’s causing problems in stores.
  • Tensions are mounting between Whole Foods employees and the workers who pick and pack Amazon’s Prime Now online orders, according to interviews with seven Whole Foods employees. 

  • The Whole Foods employees said they are suffering from understaffing and struggling to keep shelves stocked as a growing number of Amazon Prime workers canvass stores to fill online orders.

  • A manager at a Northeast Whole Foods store called Prime workers “vultures” that “come in and pick every department clean.”

  • One Whole Foods store is so busy with Prime orders that it has workers packing and storing groceries in a nearby parking garage, an employee of the store said.

  • A Whole Foods spokesperson said, “Online grocery delivery demand experienced unprecedented growth this year, and as we evolve our offerings in real-time, we

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Banks Halt U.K. Office Return; India Deaths Climb: Virus Update

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg) — HSBC Holdings Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. paused plans to return workers to their London offices after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions and urged residents to work from home where possible.

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus exceeded 200,000, a grim milestone that comes eight months after the pathogen was first confirmed on American soil. India’s fatalities topped 90,000.

France’s new infections jumped above 10,000 after a weekend lull, while South Korea’s daily cases climbed above 100 for the first time in four days.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 31.6 million; deaths exceed 970,000CDC urges changes to holiday celebrations to curb virusMany of Covid’s biggest retail winners don’t even sell onlinePubs warn that Johnson’s Covid curfew will crush industryHow do people catch Covid-19? Here’s what experts say: QuickTake

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here.

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U.K. Insurance Ruling; Businesses Make Deeper Cuts: Virus Update

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc., Qantas Airways Ltd. and Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd. joined companies worldwide making deeper cost cuts, from property and equipment to staff and pay, as the pandemic persists.

A U.K. court ruling in a landmark insurance case could lead to tens of millions of payouts related to Covid-19. Britain’s labor market took a turn for the worse in July, taking total job losses during the crisis to almost 700,000, fresh data showed.

In India, where infections trail only the U.S., total cases approached 5 million. Hong Kong reported no locally transmitted infections for the first time since early July. The city injected its struggling economy with fresh stimulus and lifted some social distancing measures, including temporarily reopening bars.

A vaccine may be available for “ordinary Chinese” as soon as November, the state-owned Global Times newspaper said.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases pass 29.2 million; deaths exceed

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Businesses Make Deeper Cuts; Hong Kong Stimulus: Virus Update

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc., Qantas Airways Ltd. and Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd. joined companies worldwide making deeper cost cuts, from property and equipment to staff and pay, as the pandemic persist. U.K. job losses during the crisis reached almost 700,000, fresh data showed.

In India, where infections trail only the U.S., total cases approached 5 million. Hong Kong reported no locally transmitted infections for the first time since early July. The city injected its struggling economy with fresh stimulus and lifted some social distancing measures, including temporarily reopening bars.

A vaccine may be available for “ordinary Chinese” as soon as November, the state-owned Global Times newspaper said. In the U.K., researchers are beginning the first study of whether two experimental vaccines can be inhaled.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases pass 29.2 million; deaths exceed 928,500Lockdowns halt Europe’s air-travel recovery, threaten jobsLagarde leverages virus to push for greener monetary policyThis

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U.S. Has Its Deadliest Day in More Than Two Weeks: Virus Update

Laveta Brigham

The U.S. had its deadliest day since Aug. 26 while the global fatality count edged closer to the million mark. The University of Oxford said it was resuming trials of the coronavirus vaccine it has been developing with AstraZeneca Plc.

France reported the most cases since lockdown ended four months ago. Florida’s cases rose slightly, while deaths slowed. Canada reported no Covid-related deaths for the first time in six months.

Trump administration aides asked for the right to read and suggest changes to weekly Covid-19 reports from the Centers for Disease Control, Politico reported.

Global Tracker: Cases rise above 28.5 million; deaths exceed 917,100Trump’s stimulus end run fizzles as firms spurn payroll tax haltIn smoky San Francisco, Covid-hit businesses suffer double blowThe University of Illinois shows there’s no foolproof reopening planHow hotels are helping their neighbors fight the pandemicWhy telemedicine may stay even after Covid fades away: QuickTake

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White House Virus Coordinator Birx Praises UA, Student Efforts

Laveta Brigham

TUSCALOOSA, AL. — White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx had high praise for the University of Alabama and its students as part of her trip across the south visiting with university and community leaders, which stopped in Tuscaloosa on Friday.

A world-renowned global health official, Birx was appointed to the Office of the Vice President to aid in the government’s response to COVID-19 and can regularly be seen speaking during White House press briefings on matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Birx spent her visit to Tuscaloosa meeting with students, UA administrators and local elected officials, which comes roughly eight weeks after her roundtable meeting with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

“I think what we have found across a series of, particularly the SEC schools where we’re concentrated in this trip, the schools that prepared and had a plan,” she said, pointing also to her visit to the University

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Fauci Names States at Risk; Europe Recovery Dims: Virus Update

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg) — Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious disease expert, named seven states most at risk of a jump in Covid-19 cases if they fail to take precautions over the Labor Day weekend. In Europe, fresh signs emerged that an economic rebound is flagging.

Thailand reported its first locally transmitted case after a streak of 100 days without community infection, while India performed a record 1.17 million daily tests after the government faced criticism that it wasn’t doing enough to map the outbreak. Israel proposed a lockdown on 600,000 people in the areas hardest hit by the virus.

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Plc administered their experimental vaccines to patients for the first time in preparation for late-stage trials before year-end.

Global Tracker: Cases surpass 26 million; deaths exceed 863,000Frontrunning Covid vaccines will soon have their moment of truthHow vast Covid response remade central bank toolkits: QuickTakeAirlines fly more gadgets and sea … Read More

Amazon creates 7,000 UK jobs as virus fuels online demand

Laveta Brigham

Amazon will create 7,000 permanent jobs in the UK by the end of the year, the US e-commerce giant announced Thursday as the coronavirus pandemic fuels online shopping while hurting bricks-and-mortar businesses.

Following Amazon’s announcement, coffee chain Costa said it planned to axe 1,650 roles in Britain.

While several British retailers and eateries have together axed thousands of jobs following the country’s virus lockdown, others including supermarket giant Tesco are creating lots of jobs to cope with booming online demand.

Amazon said it will add “7,000 permanent roles by the end of 2020 across more than 50 sites, including corporate offices and two new fulfilment centres”.

Its total permanent UK workforce will number more than 40,000, up by a third in just one year as the pandemic triggers a surge in online shopping.

Stefano Perego, Amazon’s vice president of European customer fulfilment, said his company is “employing thousands of talented

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Treasury officials push for bombshell tax hikes to pay for virus

Laveta Brigham

Fuel duty could be increased for the first time in a decade
Fuel duty could be increased for the first time in a decade

Treasury officials are pushing for the largest tax rises in a generation to plug the gaping holes in the public finances, in a move being resisted by Downing Street, The Telegraph can disclose.

The proposed quintuple whammy of tax increases would enable the Exchequer to raise at least £20 billion a year, and some could be introduced as early as in the Budget.

While no decisions have been made, multiple sources have told this newspaper that proposals under active consideration include aligning capital gains tax (CGT) with income tax, slashing pension tax relief, raising fuel and other duties, the introduction of an online sales tax and a simplification of the inheritance tax system.

Some or all could be introduced to pay for the Covid crisis, to finance general government spending pledges and to compensate for the reduced tax

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Amid virus lockdowns, prison ministry groups had to adapt

Laveta Brigham

Normally Teresa Stanfield spends her days in prisons talking with inmates about how she changed the course of her troubled life, and how they can do the same. But the coronavirus has locked her on the outside.

“When COVID came and shut down programming, I was extremely disappointed,” said Stanfield, Oklahoma field director with Virginia-based Prison Fellowship. “But I also knew that God had a plan and we were going to do everything we could to continue to encourage our returning citizens and keep our volunteers connected.”

For Stanfield, the answer was Floodlight. Developed in March after correctional facilities closed to visitors, it’s a collection of spiritual and inspirational programming that’s delivered online and via closed-circuit television to prisons across the country, reaching a total of over 400,000 inmates — 1,000 times more than Stanfield’s largest in-person presentations.

It’s one of the most ambitious and successful examples of how faith-based

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