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Amazon Cloud Network Outage Sparks Outrage Amongst Customers

Amazon’s web services experienced a major outage — as well as other impairments — for over several hours Tuesday, leading to rippling effects in areas like streaming services, payment apps, and shipping. The outage primarily affected services in the eastern U.S., and sent the daily lives of millions spiraling.

Amazon’s network provides remote computing services to many companies, universities, and websites, the reason why so many frequently-used platforms and services were disrupted by Amazon’s technological issues.

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Among the Amazon products affected include Amazon Music, Kindle ebooks, voice assistant Alexa, and home security Ring. Bloomberg reported that many Ring users were frustrated due to having to redownload or reboot the Ring app before finding out about the shortage. Some users weren’t even able to get into their homes due to the app inaccessibility.

Video streaming such as Disney+ and Netflix experienced outages or slow speeds, as did other services like Robinhood, Ticketmaster, PUGB, and Slack. Delta and Southwest Airlines also saw problems with customers trying to book or change tickets, with Southwest switching over to West Coast servers.

Amazon sellers were unable to access Seller Central, while Amazon’s bread and butter, their delivery services, took heavy hits. Warehouse workers and delivery drivers were unable to access Amazon’s Flex app, preventing them from scanning packages and accessing delivery assignments and routes. NBC News noted the amount of warehouses and delivery stations that were impacted aren’t known.

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As the issues continued, many workers simply waited in break rooms or ended up being sent home for the day. The outage couldn’t have come at a worse time for Amazon, considering it’s in the middle of the holiday season, and the pressure is on for packages to arrive in a timely fashion. The potential backlogs created from this widespread incident could become more apparent in the coming weeks.

This incident is also giving many a new perspective on just how dependent their lives have become on the internet, as well as one company in particular. Speaking to the Associated Press, technologist and public data access activist Carl Malamud explained that the internet’s original goal of not being dependent on a singular factor has been undone by giants like Amazon.

“When we put everything in one place, be it Amazon’s cloud or Facebook’s monolith, we’re violating that fundamental principle. We saw that when Facebook became the instrument of a massive disinformation campaign, we just saw that today with the Amazon failure.”

Following multiple hours of the outage, Amazon reported they had mitigated the underlying issue that caused devices to be impaired, but were still working on a full recovery for additional services. Amazon has yet to comment further on the outage beyond giving repair updates on their status page.

Amazon Web Services is a major profit maker for the company. In the third quarter of 2021, AWS totaled $16.11 billion, up from 39% a year ago. It trumped the experts predictions of around $15.48 billion. AWS — which accounts for about 15% of Amazon’s total revenue — also leads the cloud infrastructure market with 41% of shares in 2020.

Cyber Monday Sales Drop For The First Time Ever In 2021

This Cyber Monday, consumers spent upwards of $10.7 billion collectively on deals from their favorite online retailers. However, according to data from Adobe Analytics, this total marks a 1.4% decrease when compared to the lowest amount spent during Cyber Monday on record. 

Adobe Analytics initially began tracking e-commerce in 2012, and analyzes more than 1 trillion visits to retailer websites. This year’s tally for Cyber Monday marks the first time that the company has recorded a slowdown in spending on a major shopping day during the holiday season. 

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Last Cyber Monday wasn’t much different either, with consumers spending about $10.8 billion online. Last year was more predictable, however, as we were still in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, and most people weren’t leaving their house or in a position to spend a lot of money for the holidays. 

Adobe is still expecting that throughout the rest of this year’s holiday season, online retailer’s will see a relative increase in e-commerce activity. More shoppers have been opting to spread out their orders when it comes to holiday shopping to make it easier to pay off certain gifts. 

Between November 1st and Cyber Monday consumers in the US alone have spent about $109.8 billion online, which is an 11.9% increase from last year’s numbers, and the previous year’s. The company is anticipating digital sales to reach $207 billion by the end of the year, which would represent a record hain of 10%. 

Adobe reported that the Cyber Monday sales stats aren’t exactly surprising either. As previously mentioned, more shoppers have been spreading out the days in which they spend their money, as opposed to waiting for “Cyber Week” (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday) to get all their shopping done. 

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Many larger online retailers have seen these patterns, and have even gone as far as to offer Black Friday deals all autumn and winter. Adobe reported that retailers made about $8.9 billion in online sales this Black Friday, and about $5.1 billion in online sales on Thanksgiving Day. 

According to data from Sensormatic Solutions, another retail tracker, shopper traffic on Black Friday was up 47.5% when compared to last year’s numbers, however, it was still down 28.3% when compared to 2019/pre-pandemic levels. 

“With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday,” said Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights.

Adobe predicts that online retail trends will continue to fuel the market throughout the holiday season as deals on major retail websites like Amazon, Target, and Walmart continue to push “Black Friday Deals” throughout the entire holiday season.

CVS To Close 900 Stores Over The Next Three Years As Part Of Strategy Shift

As part of their plans to “accelerate omnichannel health strategy,” CVS Health has announced it will close 900 stores over the next three years. 300 stores a year are expected to close as the company looks to reduce store density beginning in the spring of 2022.

In a statement, CVS Health President and CEO Karen Lynch stated that retail stories continue to play a key role in the company’s strategies, and “compliment” their movement towards greater digital expansion.

“Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company. We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence.”

CVS noted they have been evaluating changes in population, consumer buying patterns, and future health needs in order to ensure it has the right stores in the right places for both their consumers and the company.

CVS — which employs around 300,000 workers — currently has 9,967 pharmacies across the United States. While the number of staff members to be impacted by the closures is not known, they will be offered roles in other locations or different opportunities. New roles, as well as exits, for several higher-ups were also announced.

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CVS Health intends to create new store formats in order to “drive higher engagement with consumers,” which will come in three distinct models – sites offering primary care services, an “enhanced version” of HealthHUB, and traditional brick and mortar CVS Pharmacies.

CVS currently has 1,100 “minute clinics” located within their HealthHub stores, which has seen over 50 million patient visits. The company says it plans to have over 1,000 HealthHubs by the end of the year.

According to retail industry analyst and GlobalData managing director Neil Saunders, the result of the closures is due to CVS possessing too many overlapping locations, while the state of some of the stores has “pushed some of them into the downward spiral of irrelevance.”

Saunders noted these disarrays included messy merchandising, bad lighting, and a depressing atmosphere. “They are not destinations or places where people go out of anything other than necessity,” he said.

The company recently beat earning expectations by recording a 2021 third quarter revenue of $96.34 billion along with a net income of $1.59 billion. However, due the closures, CVS expects an impairment charge of about $1 billion to $1.2 billion — or $0.56 to $0.67 in diluted earnings per share — in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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The press release did not offer any information as to where the closings will occur. With the rise of titans such as Amazon, as well as the convenience that online shopping offers, traditional retail shopping has seen a hit. The shift in consumer shopping only worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As CNBC explains, more consumers are getting their prescriptions filled online, picking up care items curbside, and visiting with doctors through telehealth.

CVS has been a crucial crutch for people throughout the pandemic, as its pharmacies have turned into vaccination hotspots. However, the company is guilty of wasting over 2.3 million doses of vaccines since March, the second-most of any major pharmaceutical behind Walgreens.

Man in Prison

American Journalist Danny Fenster Sentenced To 11 Years In Prison In Myanmar

A military court in Myanmar has sentenced Danny Fenster, a 37-year-old American journalist from Detroit, to 11 years in prison, according to a statement from his lawyer. Fester has been detained in Myanmar for more than 5 months now. 

Fester was denied bail and has been held in Insein Prison since his arrest on May 24th. Than Zaw Aung, Fester’s lawyer, claimed Fester was found guilty this week of three charges brought against him by the Myanmar military, which seized control of the country in a coup back in February. 

The charges against Fester include breaches, unlawful association with an illegal group, and incitement under section 505a of Myanmar’s Penal Code; which makes it a crime to publish or circulate comments that may “cause fear or spread false news.”

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About 100 journalists have been detained in the country since the coup, and about 30 remain behind bars. Fester’s lawyer also announced that he has now been hit with two new criminal charges under the nation’s sedition and terrorism laws, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

The new charges were made under Section 124a of Myanmer’s Penal Code, which mandates seven to 20 years in prison for attempting to bring hatred, contempt or disaffection toward the government or military.

The other charge is under “Section 50a of the Counter Terrorism Law, which makes it a crime to have contact with officially designated ‘terrorist’ groups. Under the terrorism charge, Fenster could face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison if convicted,” according to his lawyer and Myanmar’s sentencing guidelines.

Fester was initially arrested at Yangon International Airport while trying to leave the country to visit his family in the US. It was unclear why the charges were brought against the former managing editor of Frontier Myanmer. 

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Frontier Myanmar said in a statement posted on Facebook it was “deeply disappointed at the sentencing. Everyone at Frontier is disappointed and frustrated at this decision. We just want to see Danny released as soon as possible so he can go home to his family,” said Thomas Keen, Frontier’s Editor-in-Chief.

Frontier Myanmar said the “charges were based on the allegation that Fenster was working for banned media outlet Myanmar Now in the aftermath of the military coup. But Fenster had resigned from Myanmar Now in July 2020, and at the time of his arrest in May 2021 had been working with Frontier for more than nine months.”

“There is absolutely no basis to convict Danny of these charges. His legal team clearly demonstrated to the court that he had resigned from Myanmar Now and was working for Frontier from the middle of last year,” said Kean.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said the sentence was a “travesty of justice executed by a kangaroo court operating at the beck and call of the Myanmar military junta.”

“The rationale for this outrageous, rights abusing sentence is really twofold: To intimidate all remaining journalists inside Myanmar by punishing Fenster this way, while at the same time sending a message to the US that the Tatmadaw generals don’t appreciate being hit with economic sanctions and can bite back with hostage diplomacy,” Robertson said.

“Journalism is not a crime, and it shouldn’t be treated that way — meaning that Danny Fenster and the many Burmese journalists still behind bars should urgently be freed.”

Shipping Company Maersk Reports 68% Rise In Revenue Despite Supply Chain Woes

It appears Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest largest shipping company, must have missed the memo about impending supply chain woes as the holiday season approaches. On Tuesday, the shipper reported a huge increase in income.

Revenue grew to 68% to a record-breaking $16.6 billion in the third quarter, which ABC News notes was up from $9.9 billion in the same quarter last year. Maersk’s total profit came in at $5.9 billion, while their return on investment (ROI) increased to 34.5% over the past 12 months.

Maersk explained the third quarter was greatly helped by high freight rates, which doubled from $7.1 billion to $13.1 billion.

“In the ongoing exceptional market situation, with high demand in the US and global disruptions to the supply chains, we continued to increase capacity and expand our offerings to keep cargo moving for our customers,” Maersk CEO Søren Skou stated.

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These numbers come amongst a time where consumers are in dire need of everything, while the supply chain industry has been filled with problems. Labor, logistics, and transportation costs are up, while labor and resources are experiencing shortages. In addition, major ports are experiencing multiple backlogs. All of these issues aren’t expected to be corrected in the near future, either.

Maersk moves nearly a fifth of all the world’s ocean freights, and recently bought Visible, a logistics company with multiple U.S. e-commerce fulfillment centers. Maersk also acquired Senator International — along with two Boeings and three leased cargo planes — with the intention of building upon their current air capabilities while adding more flexibility to their supply chains.

Maersk already boasts an impressive arsenal that helps to separate them from their shipping rivals. The company currently 4.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) and has 708 vessels, with 307 own container vessels and 401 chartered vessels. Meanwhile, the company’s digital logistics platform serves 96 ports and terminals.

Maersk can take even more joy in their victory when looking at the supply chain landscape. Amazon and Apple have both struggled – Amazon fell to a third-quarter profit of $3.2 billion, and while its sales totaled $110.8 billion, its net income is half of what the shopping giant possessed in the same quarter the previous year.

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Meanwhile, Apple fell below analyst expectations when it came to their third-quarter profits, but the tech company still pulled in a net income of $20.5 billion and a revenue of $83.4 billion. T_HQ explained Apple’s failure to meet expectations has to do with a variety of causes, from the aforementioned supply chain problems to the U.S.-China tensions surrounding technology and trade.

CNET dives into Maersk’s push into the e-commerce business, stating that sector has flourished during the pandemic – online orders went up 44% within the first three months of 2020, and while that number has diminished since then, it’s still in better shape than other areas of retail. Businesses such as Walmart and Target have thrived from the online shopping boom.

As it turns out, Maersk’s success could end up being beneficial to shoppers. Speaking to CNET, IDC retail industry analyst Jordan Speer said that tightening up the supply chain makes shopping better and faster for consumers. As with any industry, competition can be a welcome sight.

Corporate Google Building

Alphabet, Google’s Parent Company, Earns $65 Billion In Revenue Thanks To Online Ads

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, posted that they earned $65 billion in revenue during the third-quarter, exceeding Wall Street’s initial predictions and doubling their expected profits thanks to online advertisements. 

Over the last three months Alphabet’s revenue rose by 41% to $65.2 billion, marking its largest revenue figure in 14 years. Before the pandemic the corporation posted a profit of $21 billion.

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Alphabet saw its share price increase by 57% as well for the year. This makes it the best performer of all the “FAANG” companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google). Its advertising revenue alone rose to $53 billion, up from $37.1 billion last year. 

Revenue from Alphabet’s cloud division rose by 45% to $4.99 billion, trailing behind Amazon Web Service and Microsoft Azure. Operation losses for the sector decreased by nearly 50%, from $1.2 billion to $644 million. 

Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet and Google, said “search is the heart of what we do. This quarter’s results show how our investments there are enabling us to build more helpful products for people and our partners.”

“Google campuses and cloud services will be run on carbon-free energy by 2030, and Google’s maps function will offer drivers an eco-option to find more fuel efficient routes to destinations and a wildfire system, so that consumers can make quick and informed decisions during emergencies.”

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Chief business officer Philipp Schindler said “it’s clear that uncertainty is the new normal for the global economic outlook, as uneven access to Covid vaccines affect different countries and regions experienced rates of economic recovery. The world is in flux. When it comes to anticipating change, predicting demand and investing in innovation, businesses need as much support now as they did a year and a half ago.”

In shopping, Schindler said, “some regions were experiencing a fourfold increase in search activity. Often those searches preceded in-person visits to stores. Bricks-and-mortar isn’t dead. Instead omni-channel [shopping] is in full force.”

Alphabet also emphasized their commitment to high-quality and accurate journalism, as well as open-access to information for all. Schindler explained that within the last quarter the company has added 120 news providers to it’s 1,000 information sources on Google’s News Showcase. 

Google intends to also purchase a New York City office building for $2.1 billion in the near future, as well as another campus in Silicon Valley, as a means of motivating employees to come back to the office.

Black Friday

Companies Begin Black Friday Deals Early As Supply Chain Concerns Persist

This holiday season, major companies are getting ahead of the shopping curve. Amazon revealed their “Black Friday-Worthy Deals” event and have already starting promoting holiday gift guides and items on their website, while Target unveiled its “Deal Days” event which ran from Oct. 10 to Oct. 12.

Meanwhile, Best Buy announced its Black Friday deals would start on Oct. 19 and end on Oct. 22, and that their “true” Black Friday sale would start a week prior, on Nov. 19. Best Buy is also implementing a price guarantee, meaning prices won’t go lower prior to Black Friday.

These moves are being done in response to the shift in consumers’ preferences when it comes to the timing of their shopping. Speaking to NBC Nightly News’ Stephanie Rhule, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry explained that they saw “not just a willingness” from their customers, but a “want to try to start early” when it comes to holiday shopping.

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In a survey conducted by RetailMeNot — that polled 1,082 U.S. adults — it was found that 24% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping pre-Thanksgiving, while 22% plan to start in October. Additionally, 66% said they’d prefer to get holiday shopping out of the way as soon as possible, while 33% said they’re starting shopping earlier than they did in 2020.

According to Barry, Best Buy is going into the holiday season with 50% more inventory, which is 20% more than two years ago. Barry also said to expect inflation on certain products, such as appliances – although she did stress other products’ prices remain “competitive.”

Meanwhile, RetailMeNote found that shoppers plan to spend 15% more than they did last year, and that the average consumer holiday spending in 2021 would be at $885.76, up $119 from 2020. As the Washington Times Herald notes, experts are projecting that Black Friday sales will break for $12 billion, and Cyber Monday could hit for around $11.8 billion.

Both those numbers would be record-breaking, and it continues a trend that is seeing consumers spending insanely big for holidays (Halloween is projected to see $10.14 billion spent, another record).

Aside from consumer desires, one of the biggest reasons companies are pushing up their Black Friday sales is due to the supply-chain problems that have arisen. The Los Angeles Times says that labor, logistics, and transportation costs are up, capacity has been reduced, there’s a shortage of truck drivers, and resources have been thinned – all culprits of the expected inflations and late deliveries.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play a nasty part. Trading between countries has become a bare at borders and ports due to travel restrictions. Don’t expect much positive change in the meantime, either – Moody’s Analytics warned that supply chain problems will “get worse before they get better.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that experts say it might take six months to a whole year before the backlogs are sorted out, far beyond the upcoming seasonal rush.

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For consumers, shopping now might be the smart decision, whether it’s preferable to them or not. Continued supply chain problems could lead to shortages in popular products in the weeks leading up to major holidays – a reason companies like Best Buy are stocking up their inventory now.

Target gave updates on how it plans to overcome supply chain challenges, stating large investments put into operations, adding more facilities, sortation, and distribution centers, and integrating further stocking technology. Additionally, Target announced that it was hiring 30,000 positions in supply chain operations.

However, Target is also trimming the amount of seasonal workers they hire. This year, they plan to hire 100,000 seasonal roles, which is about 30,000 less than last year. Instead, they’ll opt to give more hours to the workers they currently have.

Unemployment Form

U.S. Economy Adds Just 194,000 Jobs In September, Unemployment Falls To 4.8%

According to a news release by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the economy added just 194,000 jobs in September. The results are about 306,000 less than the Dow Jones estimated growth. That number is also a significant drop from August, when the U.S. added 366,000 jobs.

In addition, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4% to a total of 4.8%, and the total number of unemployed persons dropped to 7.7 million.

Leisure and hospitality led the way when it comes to the industries that saw the biggest job growths in this period by adding 74,000 jobs. Professional and business services added 60,000 jobs, which was down from the 74,000 jobs added in August. Retail trade finished third in overall job growth, adding 56,000 positions.

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Other upward growths include warehouse and transportation (+47,000), information (+32,000), social assistance (+30,000), manufacturing (+26,000), construction (+22,000), wholesale trade (+17,000), and mining (+5,000). One noteworthy detail is that warehouse and transportation is the only industry listed on the BLS report that currently sits above its pre-pandemic level (up 72,000) back in February of 2020.

With continually easing COVID-19 restrictions and an increasing amount of customers returning, it’s not surprising that restaurants have been able to rehire many workers. However, those increase in job numbers don’t tell the whole story, as restaurant staffers are still dealing with difficult conditions such as low wages, extra hours, and increased workloads.

In terms of overall wages, employees on private nonfarm payrolls saw their average hourly salary increase by .19 cents to a total of $30.85. The BLS explains this trend could be thanks to the increased demand for labor as the nation goes into COVID-19 recovery mode.

Unfortunately, a number of other industries— such as education— are still suffering in regards to employment. Local government education decreased by 144,000 jobs, and 17,000 jobs in state government education. Private education also saw little change.

The BLS notes that the “back-to-school” hiring period that typically occurs in September is lower than usual, although the results are difficult to interpret due the pandemic inflating seasonal patterns.

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These education numbers come out among the news that President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate could eventually lead to a “teacher vaccine requirement in many states,” which the Associated Press reports many education leaders believe. It’s an additional factor that could play a part in the movement of education employment in the coming months.

Employment in health care saw downgrades at residential care facilities and hospitals with 38,000 and 8,000 job losses, respectively. However, 28,000 jobs were added in ambulatory health care services.

Talking to CNBC, Indeed’s economic research director Nick Bunker explained that the overall results of the report were disappointing despite the presence of many people who have strong desires to return to the workforce after COVID-19 ravaged the nation.

“This is quite a deflating report. This year has been one of false dawns for the labor market. Demand for workers is strong and millions of people want to return to work, but employment growth has yet to find its footing.”

Despite the somber feeling these results may bring, there is some reason for optimism when it comes to a possible unemployment turnaround in the distant future as CNN Business notes. The reports were conducted around mid-September, when COVID-19 cases were at a high. Since that time, the U.S. is currently averaging 102,000 COVID-19 cases per day, which is a 22% drop over the past two weeks (per Axios).

If the Delta wave is truly tapering off, job employment across all industries should be heading towards better days. This news also helps to certify that the fight against COVID-19 and any of its variants is just as important as ever, given the extreme impact it can have on the economy and workers nationwide.

Nice Restaurant

US Restaurant Workers Demanding Livable Wages Amid Reopenings 

America’s restaurant industry has opened up for business, however, a majority of staffers in these eateries are still coping with the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic, its economic impact, and the responsibility of enforcing health and safety protocols on angry customers for small wages. 

Restaurants all throughout the country have been struggling to find enough workers who are willing to fill open positions for minimum payment. Many industry workers throughout the nation blame the labor shortages on poor pay, unsafe working conditions, disrespect from customers, and concerns over the pandemic in general. 

Iesha Franceis is an employee at a Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers chain in Durham, North Carolina, who recently spoke to the Guardian about why she believes restaurants throughout the nation are struggling.  

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“I currently make $11.40 an hour, employees are still struggling and employers are still not caring, and it’s their own fault these corporations are experiencing worker shortages. We are all still not making livable wages and these companies are still trying to penny pinch any way that they can.”

The leisure and hospitality industry currently has 1.7 million fewer jobs available when compared to before the pandemic. For the food industry, jobs declined by 42,000 in the month of August 2021, and overall has experienced a surge of workers quitting all throughout 2021. 

Francis herself led multiple walkouts at her restaurant over Covid-19 safety concerns and poor working conditions throughout the entire pandemic. This is a common form of protest that many industry workers have turned to in order to show their employers that they should be valued for being an essential worker during a global health crisis, and being paid like they’re working a summer job in high school is not going to cut it anymore. 

Franceis explained “many employees left through the pandemic while operating hours are still reduced, which has left me and my co-workers to deal with increased workloads and work extra hours to try to compensate for staffing shortages.

“Pay me what I’m worth. Because if I can sacrifice myself for your business to keep your wheels turning, then it’s time that you sacrifice yourself to keep my wheels turning. It’s off of our backs that their lives are so easy.”

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A spokesperson for Freddy’s said in an email: “Freddy’s has an uncompromising commitment to safety and expects each of our franchisees to provide a safe working environment for their employees, including following proper cleaning and sanitation protocols. Additionally, as an independent franchisee, the local owner in Durham is solely responsible for setting their employees’ hourly pay and salaries.”

Lily Nicholson is a server at a restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee who discussed the constant harassment and issues workers are facing from customers who refuse to abide by mask mandates and Covid-19 safety protocols. Leading to a much bigger discussion over why low-paid employees are having to deal with verbal abuse from customers when they’re the ones working during a pandemic to provide services. 

“It’s such a precarious scenario. We’ve been the worker who has been deputized into enforcing this rule at the door that you’re supposed to have a mask on, so at the door you already have an altercation,” said Nicholson.

Many fast food employees also had no paid sick leave throughout the entire pandemic, so if they did happen to catch Covid, they were losing money everyday they had to stay home, and in some cases, employees were fired for not showing up. 

Essential workers in every industry are growing tired of not being as valued as the nation has made it seem to be throughout the past two years. Individuals are literally putting their lives on the line to clock into work and make the bare minimum so they can continue to scrap by. Time will tell how much longer the food industry, and others, will be able to last without a proper source of labor. 

Unemployment Claim

Weekly Jobless Claims In US Hit 18-Month Low

The Labor Department revealed this week that weekly jobless claims have decreased to almost pre-pandemic levels. People on state unemployment have also hit March 2020 levels when the pandemic was initially starting and shutting down multiple businesses.