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'No mask. No ride': Uber will require drivers and passengers to wear face masks indefinitely – USA TODAY

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Uber is extending its mask requirement indefinitely throughout the U.S. and Canada as coronavirus cases continue to rise across several states.

The company previously said that both drivers and riders are required to wear masks during trips through June. On Wednesday, the company said it’s extending that rule.

“Extending our ‘No Mask, No Ride’ policy is the right thing to do,” Uber said in a statement. “We want to send a clear message to everyone using Uber that we all have a role to play to keep each other safe.” 

The decision was made based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company also notes the public rise in coronavirus cases. Texas, New Mexico and California are among the states with infections trending upward. 

The news comes in tandem with the company’s launch of a campaign running on TV, social media and in the app. It’s called “No mask. No ride” and depicts drivers and Uber Eats delivery people working during the pandemic. 

Coronavirus: COVID-19 drug remdesivir priced at $390 per vial for some patients, $520 for others

Uber also conducted a survey of 600 random Uber and Lyft drivers, finding that Uber drivers feel safer with COVID-19 related safety guidelines in place, the company said. The company added selfie technology for drivers in May that detects whether a driver is wearing a mask before they start a shift.

More than a million drivers have gone through mask detection already, the company said. Drivers have completed more than 100 million trips while wearing masks, a number that would be much higher if Uber Eats trips were included, the company said. 

It also sends notifications to riders reminding them to wear a face covering before their driver arrives. 

Uber’s business was hit hard after the pandemic was declared as people urged to stay home didn’t need to take as many rides. The company shed swaths of its workforce as a result, and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi waived his base salary through the end of the year. 

Even if you haven’t taken a trip in months, you’re still required to wear a mask. 

“For riders who may be taking their first trip since the pandemic began, please know that your driver is required to wear a mask or face cover – and you are too,” Uber said. 

Lyft also has a mask requirement in all 50 states, and airlines have instituted similar policies to aid in coronavirus prevention efforts. 

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown. 

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Alstom expresses concern over finances at Bombardier's rail unit, but takeover will likely go through – CBC.ca

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French rail giant Alstom SA is warning that problems at Bombardier’s train division may affect negotiations to buy it, but says it still plans to go ahead with the takeover deal.

Alstom says that “negative developments” around the train unit’s operations and finances revealed in Bombardier’s quarterly earnings report last week have prompted the would-be buyer to “take into account the consequences” during upcoming discussions.

On Thursday, Bombardier reported an additional charge of $435 million US at its rail business, largely related to costs at late-stage projects in the U.K. and Germany.

Late last month the European Commission gave the green light to Alstom’s US$8.2-billion purchase of the Bombardier train unit following an investigation that found the transaction raised serious competition issues, prompting “significantly improved” commitments from Alstom, according to European competition authorities.

A Bombardier spokesperson says it is complying with all the conditions of the deal and that it will continue to work toward signing the final agreement as soon as possible.

The sale, which would help ease Bombardier’s US$9.3-billion debt, was initially slated to close in the first half of 2021.

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Canopy Growth earnings: Pot giant beats expectations as sales lag – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Canopy Growth earnings
Chris Wattie/REUTERS
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Canopy Growth (WEED.TO)(CGC) says its transformation strategy is working, even as the world’s most valuable cannabis company sees its sales shrink in the Canadian recreational and medical markets on a quarterly basis.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”23″>Canopy Growth (WEED.TO)(CGC) says its transformation strategy is working, even as the world’s most valuable cannabis company sees its sales shrink in the Canadian recreational and medical markets on a quarterly basis. 

“We are not satisfied with our current positioning,” Chief executive officer David Klein told analysts on a post-earnings conference call Monday morning. “We know there’s more work ahead of us. And we continue to expect full-year 2021 to be a transition year.”

Klein’s overhaul of the cannabis giant started when he took the top job in January. In addition to a greater focus on consumer preferences, and a more streamlined product portfolio, the company has shed more than 1,000 jobs, closed cultivation facilities, and pulled back its international reach to focus on the Canadian, U.S., and German markets in a bid to cut costs.

Canopy said on Monday that it has reduced its staff by 18 per cent since the beginning of the year. The company had 4,434 employees at the end of March, according to recent filings.

Chief financial officer Mike Lee said the restructuring has “substantially” reduced Canopy’s cash burn, adding the company is focused on further changes to “people, process, technology and infrastructure.” Sales, general and administrative expenses fell 23 per cent in the first quarter versus the same period last year.

The Smiths Falls, Ont.-based company topped analyst expectations for its first-quarter 2021 sales, reporting net revenue of $110.4 million, up from $107.9 million in the prior period, and 22 per cent higher on a year-over-year basis. 

It also reported a $92 million adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) loss. Canopy’s net loss came to $128 million, compared to $1.3 billion in the previous quarter. Analysts polled by Bloomberg predicted revenue of $98.1 million, and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $103.3 million for the period ended June 30.

Canopy’s Canadian recreational sales amounted to $44.2 million in Q1 2021, down 11 per cent from $49.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, as rising competition in dried flower eroded its once-dominant market share.

The company also said the decline was related to the impact of COVID-19 on an already challenging retail environment. A number of company-owned cannabis stores were forced to temporarily close as a result of the pandemic.

“After seeing its recreational revenues decline by 28 per cent in the prior period on a weak showing in Cannabis 2.0, and lost market share on higher THC flower, we anticipated pressure to continue into FQ1/21,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Matt Bottomley wrote in a note to clients on Monday.

Medical sales slipped to $13.9 million from $14.9 million in the previous quarter, but increased 19 per cent from Q1 2020. Canopy’s international medical cannabis business was a bright spot in the quarter. The company’s German C3 unit reported strong year-over-year sales growth. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Klein said Canopy is “seeing increased momentum” in the United States, where the company is promoting its CBD offerings through a newly launched online store. He said the recently retooled agreement to acquire New York-based pot producer Acreage Holdings (ACRG-U.CN) “refocuses” Canopy’s entry stateside, once cannabis sales are federally permissible.” data-reactid=”34″>Klein said Canopy is “seeing increased momentum” in the United States, where the company is promoting its CBD offerings through a newly launched online store. He said the recently retooled agreement to acquire New York-based pot producer Acreage Holdings (ACRG-U.CN) “refocuses” Canopy’s entry stateside, once cannabis sales are federally permissible.

Last Tuesday, the company announced an endorsement deal with Patrick Mahomes for its Biosteel sports drink subsidiary. The NFL all-star adds to Canopy’s roster of celebrity boosters, which also includes Martha Stewart, Drake, Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.” data-reactid=”36″>Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for&nbsp;Apple&nbsp;and&nbsp;Android.” data-reactid=”37″>Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for Apple and Android.

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Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1 per cent for EI calculation – Canada News – Castanet.net

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The federal government has temporarily set a minimum unemployment rate of 13.1 per cent to calculate employment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those people living in regions with an unemployment rate lower than that threshold will have their EI benefits calculated at that rate.

In regions with a higher unemployment rate, benefits will be calculated using the actual rate for that region.

In taking this action, the government says it recognizes that the pandemic continues to make labour market conditions uncertain and unpredictable across the country.

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June and sliding further away from the record-high 13.7 per cent in May.

More than 1.6 million Canadians have returned to work since Ottawa launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) that has provided income support for more than 8.5 million Canadians.

“As we carefully and gradually restart parts of our economy, we recognize that many Canadian workers continue to face challenges,” stated Carla Qualtrough, minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

“The temporary use of a national minimum unemployment rate for the EI program will help more people access EI regular benefits and provide eligible Canadians with access to a minimum 26 weeks of benefits,” stated Carla Qualtrough, minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

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