Tag: Workers

Posted in Business

More businesses are folding and leaving laid-off workers in the lurch

The number of businesses going under in South Florida is growing at an alarming rate, cutting the chances for laid-off workers to find other jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Yelp, the national online business listing firm, nearly 3,000 businesses closed in the tri-county area between March 15 and July 1.

Owners are losing their investments. Employees are losing jobs. And lower income workers — among the most vulnerable to layoffs because they work in hard-hit service industries — are under severe financial pressure as they struggle to find new employment, according to ParentsTogether, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group for parents across the country.

In a survey conducted among its Florida members from July 16 to July 19, ParentsTogether found that “a vast majority of families,” including 73% in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, consider themselves to be struggling economically as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis,

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Posted in Personal

How U.S. Soccer turned jerseys into masks for frontline workers

Deep in the bowels of the 19th century Chicago mansion that serves as the headquarters for the United States Soccer Federation, several hundred decades-old U.S. national team jerseys hung on storage racks, gathering dust.

Some of them had been worn in games by the biggest stars in modern men’s and women’s national team history. But even after a December 2019 purge during which the USSF sent many to the former players whose last names were emblazoned on the shirts, much of the inventory remained. Three months later, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and with it a shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline workers. An idea was born: maybe the old jerseys could be turned into functional, virus-mitigating face masks.

Led by its chief medical officer Dr. George Chiampas, U.S. Soccer had already started working on a number of COVID-19-related initiatives. Now, federation staffers found themselves lurking on Etsy, an online

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Posted in Personal

How U.S. Soccer turned old jerseys into new masks for frontline workers

Deep in the bowels of the-19th century Chicago mansion that serves as the headquarters for the United States Soccer Federation, several hundred decades-old U.S. national team jerseys hung on storage racks, gathering dust.

Some of them had been worn in games by the biggest stars in modern men’s and women’s national team history. But even after a December 2019 purge during which the USSF sent many to the former players whose last names were emblazoned shirts, much of the inventory remained. Three months later the global Coronavirus pandemic hit, and with it a shortage of personal protective equipment for front line workers. An idea was born: maybe the old jerseys could be turned into functional, virus-mitigating face masks.

Led by its chief medical officer Dr. George Chiampas, U.S. Soccer had already started working on a number of COVID-19-related initiatives. Now federation staffers found themselves lurking on Esty, an online marketplace

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Posted in Personal

We’re Facing a Mental Health Crisis in Healthcare Workers, the Majority of Whom Are Women

More than 130,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, a novel strain of coronavirus, and cases continue to surge in communities across the country. But for front-line medical workers, particularly those working in emergency rooms and treating COVID-19 patients, the fight has only just begun.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 515 healthcare workers have died so far after contracting COVID-19 – with 34 percent of cases still unreported – a larger, potentially even more deadly crisis is looming. For doctors, nurses, hospital cleaners, and other staff members on the front lines – nearly 80 percent of whom are women, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics – it’s their mental health that has been devastated, and this country is beyond ill-equipped to help them repair it.

“Trauma does not have a timeline, so we will be seeing the ramifications from this

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Posted in Personal

Amazon mistakenly tells workers to take TikTok app off phones

San Francisco (AFP) – Amazon on Friday said it mistakenly sent workers an email telling them to dump the TikTok mobile application from their cell phones because of security concerns.

The internal message told workers they could still access the popular video-snippet sharing platform using laptop web browsers, but would lose access to company email on smartphones that have TikTok.

“This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error,” an Amazon spokesperson said in reply to an AFP inquiry without going into detail.

“There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok.”

The concern expressed in the internal message appeared to be that the TikTok mobile app could access Amazon company email, according to a copy posted online.

“User security is of the utmost importance to TikTok -– we are fully committed to respecting the privacy of our users,” a spokeswoman for the

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Posted in Business

PortMiami renegotiates terminal deals, local workers brace for more cruise-less months

Just last November, PortMiami was bustling with construction workers bringing to life five new cruise terminals and two cruise company headquarters. Future cruise business was all but guaranteed: Fiscal year 2020 was set to break the port’s 2019 record of 6.8 million passengers, up 22 percent from 2018.

The county agreed to pay $700 million toward the projects, and the cruise companies — Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, MSC Cruises and Virgin Voyages — agreed to repay the county $5.8 billion over the next 20 to 62 years.

In November, port director Juan Kuryla described the deals as “iron clad.” When asked by the Herald what would happen to the promised return on investment if for some reason cruise ships were only half full or if the ships did not to come to Miami at all, Kuryla said the companies would still be on the

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Posted in Finance

Domestic workers dumped on the street amid unprecedented economic collapse

Over a dozen Ethiopian domestic workers camp outside the Ethiopian embassy in Beirut after being dumped by their employers: Bel Trew
Over a dozen Ethiopian domestic workers camp outside the Ethiopian embassy in Beirut after being dumped by their employers: Bel Trew

Bewildered and scared, Ife, an Ethiopian domestic worker, explains how just a few hours ago she thought she was on her way to Beirut airport. “So you can fly home,” her cash-strapped employer had said while pushing her out of the car in front of the Ethiopian embassy.

“It was a lie,” whispers the 24-year-old, clutching her belongings like a lifebuoy.

“I cried and cried because I haven’t been paid since January. I have no money. I have a son.”

Ife only has one option: sleep rough alongside dozens of other Ethiopian women also dumped by their employers in front of the consulate in Beirut and beg to be repatriated home. They are among a growing number of migrant workers in Lebanon that have been abandoned by their bosses

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Posted in Personal

A bathroom-break bill? California looks to make sure warehouse workers can take a break

OAKLAND, Calif.— A new California bill aims to change working conditions for warehouse workers who have come under increased productivity pressure from major retailers that track their every move.

The bill, AB3056, aims to ensure that workers are not penalized for time spent on personal hygiene such as hand washing or using the restroom. Many workers say that automated monitoring systems warn management if they spend too much time “off task.”

The bill would apply to warehouse workers who work for Amazon, Walmart, Target and other large retailers across the state, which has the most warehouses of any state in the United States, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, it passed the California state assembly last month, largely along party lines, with Democrats voting in favor.

The bill would also ensure that warehouse workers are paid overtime if they are compelled to work beyond their

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Posted in Personal

College Roommates Launch Program to Help Essential Workers in Need: ‘Make a Meaningful Impact’

A group of students at Dartmouth College are doing their part to ensure that no frontline worker struggles to obtain essential items during the coronavirus pandemic — one donor match at a time.

Back in March, roommates Amy Guan and Rine Uhm helplessly watched as their spring semester and summer plans crumbled due to the pandemic.

“We ended up losing internships, I lost my in-person graduation, but at the same time, it was hard to be sad about these losses with everything else going around in the world,” Guan, 21, tells PEOPLE. “We would spend a lot of time reading the news and sharing stories that we found interesting about the risks and struggles that essential workers have been facing.”

“The more we read, the more we realized that there was a lack of access to basic necessities that a lot of other people might have lying around their house

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