Amazon workers strike at West Coast air cargo facilities and other business news

Amazon workers strike at West Coast overhead facility

Warehouse workers at Amazon’s largest air freight facility on the West Coast walked off the job Monday, demanding higher pay and relief from hot conditions they say are dangerous.

Organizers of a group called Inland Empire Amazon Workers United said in a Facebook post that 160 employees left San Bernardino International Airport, which is a critical part of Amazon’s logistics network and one of three ” the company’s American air hubs.

In a statement, Amazon officials disputed the number, saying 74 of the facility’s roughly 1,500 employees walked out.

About 900 San Bernardino airport employees have signed a petition calling for base pay to be increased from $17 to $22 an hour, Inland Empire Amazon Workers United said in a statement.

“Amazon could offer a higher standard for workers, but they don’t,” said Sara Fee, who has worked at the air hub since it opened in March 2021. “People are what make it all work, and we are strong and united to fight for what we deserve.”

Puerto Rico strengthens cruise ship docks

Puerto Rico’s governor on Tuesday announced a public-private partnership to renovate the island’s cruise ship docks as part of a $425 million project to boost the U.S. territory’s tourism sector.

Governor Pedro Pierluisi said the project aims to transform Puerto Rico into the Caribbean’s premier cruise ship destination by upgrading, repairing and expanding nine docks in the capital city of San Juan to accommodate larger ships and more passengers.

“Today is an extremely important day for tourism in Puerto Rico,” said Carlos Mercado, executive director of the island’s Tourism Company.

San Juan Cruise Port – a subsidiary of London-based Global Ports Holding, the world’s largest cruise port operator – will be responsible for operating and overseeing the project under a 30 years with the Port Authority of Puerto Rico that lasted five years in the making. The contract stipulates that the island’s government will receive annual payments representing at least 5% of the operator’s gross income.

As part of the deal, the number of docks currently capable of serving as a base port for four cruise ships at a time will double to eight.

Airbnb adds limits to block house parties

Airbnb says it will use new methods to track and block people who try to use the short-term rental service to host a party.

The company said on Tuesday that it has introduced technology that examines the potential tenant’s history on Airbnb, how far they live from the house they want to rent, whether they are renting for a weekday or a weekend. end, and other factors.

Airbnb said the filtering system it is rolling out for listings in the United States and Canada has been tested since last October in parts of Australia, where it has resulted in a 35% drop in unauthorized parties.

The San Francisco-based company said the technology is designed to block a guest’s reservation request from reaching the host of the affected property. Airbnb said people unable to rent an entire house might be able to book a single room because the host is more likely to be there.

Airbnb has come under increasing pressure to crack down on parties since 2019, when a Halloween party in a suburb of San Francisco ended in the deaths of five people in a shooting.

The following year, Airbnb announced a global party ban on its listings and prohibited people under the age of 25 from renting an entire home near their home unless they had a record of positive reviews on the site. .

Amazon raises fees for third-party sellers

Amazon is again increasing fees for third-party sellers – this time adding holiday fees for merchants who use the company’s fulfillment services to package and ship items to customers.

From October 15 to January 23, sellers will be hit with a $0.35 fee per item sold using Amazon’s fulfillment services in the United States and Canada, according to a notice the company sent to merchants on Tuesday. .

This is the second fee hike imposed on merchants this year by the online retail giant. In April, the company added a 5% “fuel and inflation” surcharge to offset rising gas costs and inflation, which is near its highest level in four decades.

To use Amazon’s fulfillment services, merchants already have to pay a fee that varies based on an item’s size, weight, or category.

In the notice sent Tuesday, Amazon noted that the holiday season increases fulfillment and logistics costs due to the volume of shipments carried. The company said it was previously absorbing these cost increases. But seasonal spending was “now reaching new heights”, he said.

“Our business partners are extremely important to us, and this is not a decision we took lightly,” the company said.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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