Amazon workers hold first UK strike, adding to labor turmoil
LONDON (AP) — Amazon warehouse workers have gone on strike for the first time in Britain in a dispute over pay and working conditions. The action Wednesday adds to a wave of industrial labor action across the country fueled by the soaring cost of living. Union members voted to walk off the job at the e-commerce giant’s fulfillment center in Coventry, about 100 miles northwest of London. Union organizers say staff are “trying to get decent pay” and take issue with performance targets set by an algorithm that piles extra pressure on workers. Some 2,000 people work at the Coventry facility. Amazon said only 178 workers voted to strike and that it's offering “competitive pay."
AmazonSmile's end is alarming, say nonprofits that benefited
Since 2013, more than 1 million charities received donations from AmazonSmile, which sent a small portion of a customer's purchase on Amazon to a nonprofit of their choice. Amazon announced last week that the program will end on Feb. 20. Nonprofits are now looking for ways to replace that funding, and some of Amazon’s competitors, including Walmart and Target, have community donation programs that are somewhat similar to AmazonSmile. Patrick Malone, an Amazon spokesperson, said the company's decision to end the program is a strategic shift to support initiatives that work on a larger scale, like its $2 billion contribution to build affordable housing.
Goldman Sachs signals partial retreat from consumer banking
NEW YORK (AP) — Goldman Sach spent eight years attempting to expand its business beyond corporations and the wealthy. But in recent months, the storied investment bank has signaled a partial retreat from those efforts by scrapping plans for a checking account broadly available to the public and mothballing its personal loan business. Last week, the bank disclosed that it had accumulated $3 billion in losses in its consumer banking franchise since 2020, mostly money set aside to cover potential loan losses in its Marcus personal loan business. The retreat comes as Goldman tries to refocus on its roots: advising corporations on deals, investing, and trading, and servicing the well-to-do. .
Elon Musk's tweeting style seizes spotlight in Tesla trial
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s impulsive and sometimes inflammatory usage of Twitter has taken center stage in a trial focused on whether he misled investors with his 2018 tweets indicating he had lined up financing to take the electric automaker private, a proposal that rapidly unraveled. The spotlight on Musk’s tweeting habits came a day after the 51-year-old billionaire completed three days of defiant testimony in which he told a nine-member jury why he believed he could have pulled off a potential Tesla buyout that he tweeted about in 2018. Musk posted the tweets that got him into trouble a few weeks after investors urged him to stay off Twitter.
Tesla says its 4Q profit rose 59%, expects strong margins
DETROIT (AP) — Tesla has posted record net income for the fourth quarter of last year, and the company predicted that additional software-related profits will keep its margins higher than any other automaker. The Austin, Texas, maker of electric vehicles and solar panels said it made $3.69 billion from October through December, or an adjusted $1.19 per share. That beat estimates of $1.13 a share that had been reduced by analysts. The company’s profit was 59% more than the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter was $24.32 billion, which fell short of the $24.67 billion that analysts expected.
Tax season already? Some tips for avoiding stress and scams
NEW YORK (AP) — Tax season is here again. Whether you do your taxes by yourself, go to a tax clinic or hire a professional, navigating the tax system can be complicated. Experts recommend that you ask as many questions as you need during the process and get informed before your tax appointment. And if you want to avoid the stress of the looming deadline, the best practice is to start getting organized as soon as possible. This year, taxpayers have until April 18 to submit their returns from 2022.
CSX railroad profit up 9% on higher fuel surcharges, rates
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX railroad says it hauled in 9% more fourth-quarter profit even though it carried less cargo because it received more money for fuel surcharges and higher shipping rates. The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said Wednesday that it earned $1.02 billion, or 49 cents per share. That topped Wall Street expectations. CEO Joe Hinrichs said the railroad made great progress during the quarter as its performance continued to improve. Hinrichs said he expects volume to continue to grow faster than the gross domestic product this year as the railroad's service keeps improving. CSX's trains are running more smoothly because the railroad has hired hundreds of additional employees over the past year to help handle the freight.
New York's AG says MSG lawyer ban may violate anti-bias laws
NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general has warned Madison Square Garden that it may be violating anti-bias laws with its practice of barring lawyers from firms involved in litigation against MSG from its venues including Radio City Music Hall and the Garden itself. The attorney general’s office says in a letter to Madison Square Garden officials that the ban and the use of facial recognition technology to enforce it may violate anti-discrimination laws. A representative for MSG says the policy “does not unlawfully prohibit anyone from entering our venues and it is not our intent to dissuade attorneys from representing plaintiffs in litigation against us.”
Light at the end of the tunnel: Grand Central annex opens
NEW YORK (AP) — A huge new commuter rail terminal built in caverns beneath New York City’s landmark Grand Central Terminal received its first regular passenger trains Wednesday. The enormously expensive terminal opens with daily rail travel still far below pre-pandemic levels. Over the years, the cost of the project grew to more than $11 billion — more than triple initial estimates. Judged on a cost per mile of new track, it is one of most expensive rail projects in U.S. history. The new transit center is dubbed Grand Central Madison. Officials say it is an important addition to the nation’s busiest railway network.
Germany sees brighter outlook for Europe's largest economy
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The economic outlook has brightened in Europe's largest economy. The German government on Wednesday raised its estimate for growth next year to an 0.2% expansion from a 0.4% contraction as the country manages its energy divorce from Russia and shells out support for consumers and businesses hit by higher energy costs. Germany had feared that this winter it would run out of natural gas used to power factories, generate electricity and heat homes. Mild weather helped, as did additional supplies of liquid natural gas after Russia cut off most pipeline supplies to Europe amid the war in Ukraine. German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck says high prices are a burden for consumers but that the government has “made the crisis manageable.”
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