Covid-19 Economic Impact

Lifestyle • Food
Vietnam sets up machines that distribute free rice to people out of work during pandemic

Businessmen and donors have set up machines in several different cities across Vietnam, that dispense rice for free to people that are out of jobs and have no income. The waiting lines require people to keep up physical distancing and people are required to sterilize their hands before receiving their rice.

Sports • Soccer
Real Madrid players agreed to 10-20% pay cut amid coronavirus pandemic

Real Madrid's soccer players, coaches and "main directors" agreed on a pay cut between 10-20% this year to help the club mitigate a decrease in income "as a result of the suspension of competitions and the paralysis of a large part of its commercial activities".

Madrid's basketball team also agreed on a voluntary pay cut.

Regional News • Europe
Spanish government is working on universal basic income plans

The Spanish deputy prime minister and minister for economy has announced that the government is working on rolling out a version of a universal basic income. The government's social security minister Jose Luis Escriva is working on the project with the aim of rolling the universal basic income out as soon as possible. Furthermore, the income is designed to become "a permanent instrument" that stays after the coronavirus pandemic.

Business • Economy
Germany permits 40,000 foreign workers to work inside Germany in April and May

After previously banning the entry of seasonal workers from outside Germany as part of the measures against the coronavirus, the German agriculture minister Julia Klöckner has announced that around 40,000 workers will now be allowed inside the country. In order to secure the harvest of fruits and vegetables, mainly strawberries and asparagus, and at the same time prevent the coronavirus from spreading further, foreign seasonal workers are required to travel by plane and employers are required to do mandatory health checks on arrival. For the first 14 days, the newly arrived workers are also required to work separately from other workers and are not allowed to leave the premises of the company.

Business • Economy
Rising unemployment numbers in the US: 6.65 million new filings in past week

The federal labor department has announced that the unemployment numbers in the United States have continued rising. With more than 6.65 million people filing for unemployment benefits in the United States in the last week, adding to the around 3.3 million in the week before, the United States have an unprecedented rise in people filing for unemployment benefits.

Technology • Internet & Web
Airbnb announces $250 million fund to support hosts during pandemic

In order to support the hosts, that rent out their living space on Airbnb, the platform has announced to pay out up to $250 million in order to compensate parts of the losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and cancellations. Guests will be able to cancel bookings made "on or before March 14 with a check-in between March 14 and May 31, 2020" for a full refund and Airbnb bill pay the hosts 25% of the normal cancellation policy.

Business • Economy
Amazon, Instacart workers strike amid working conditions under coronavirus pandemic

Amazon warehouse workers on New York’s Staten Island, and Instacart works across the United States, went on strike Monday to call attention to what they called a lack of protections for employees who continue to come to work amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Workers for both companies want more access to paid sick time off. At this time, it's available only to those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or get placed on mandatory self-quarantine.

Amazon workers want their warehouse to be closed for a longer cleaning, with guaranteed pay.

Instacart's grocery delivery workers ask for disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer and better pay.

Sports
Juventus players agree to take pay reduction of €90 million

Juventus on Saturday announced that they reached an agreement to cut their players’ and coach Maurizio Sarri’s monthly payments of March, April, May, and June 2020.

This agreement that will save the club €90 million was brokered by the defender Giorgio Chiellini with Cristiano Ronaldo agreeing to sacrifice €3.8 million.

The club stated "Should the current season's matches be rescheduled; the Club will negotiate in good faith with the players and the coach conditional increases of compensation according to the actual resumption and finalization of official competitions,"

Technology • Games
PlayStation to provide full pay to employees, regardless of ability to perform remote work

Reporter Patrick Klepek announced on Twitter that he obtained a memo stating that all PlayStation employees are set to work from home until April 30. Employees will be paid "regardless of ability to perform remote work due to job function or responsibilities". Additionally, employees will receive a one-time payment of $1,000 to purchase any equipment needed to continue their work remotely.

Business • Economy
China and Vietnam are planning to impose ban on wildlife trade

Following the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, originating from a "wet market" in Wuhan on which live animals were bought and sold, China and Vietnam are planning to impose a ban on such markets. The formal bans are expected to be signed into law later this year.

Business • Economy
CEO of Texas Roadhouse forgoes salary in order to pay restaurant workers

The Chief Executive Officer and founder of the steak restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse, W. Kent Taylor has announced to forgo his regular salary payments as well as additional bonus payments in order to make the salary payments of frontline restaurant workers possible. The company also announced that it would not pay dividends in order to have more money on hand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Seasonal and harvest workers no longer allowed to enter Germany

The German government is barring entry to seasonal workers from abroad, including other EU countries, in order to stem the coronavirus outbreak. Around 300,000 seasonal workers come to Germany each year to help with harvesting crops such as asparagus and strawberries.

Business • Economy
3.3 million filed for unemployment in the US last week

According to the Labor Department, more than 3.3 million workers filed for unemployment and applied for benefits in the last week, showing the first impact the Covid-19 pandemic has on the economy. These figures do not include some part-time, gig and low-wage workers nor independent contractors and the self-employed as they don’t qualify for unemployment benefits. In comparison, 200,000 people filed for unemployment three weeks ago.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Venezuela suspends rent, pays salaries of small and midsize companies for six months

The Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced that all rent payments as well as interest payments on capital and loans are going to be suspended until September. In addition to this he guaranteed all workers their wages, which the state will pay for small and mid sized companies. In addition to this lay-offs that are the consequence of the coronavirus have been banned.

Sports
German soccer players to take pay cut during the coronavirus crisis

As the Bundesliga season has no games since March 8th, players from Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and 1 FC Union Berlin decided to take a pay cut in order to help their club employees.

Monchengladbach players were the first to have voluntarily offered to sacrifice part of their salary, being followed by Union, Bayern and now Dortmund.

Business • Economy
Amazon opens its workers relief fund to outside donations

The e-commerce company implemented a fund to support "employees and partners" and contributed $25 million in funds themselves. In addition to this, the company opened up the fund for outside donations stating "While we aren’t expecting anyone to do so, you can make a voluntary donation to the fund if you desire to do so" on their website.

Business • Economy
138,000 people filed for unemployment in Austria since March 16th

The unemployment figure has been rising since Austria ordered a nationwide lockdown on Monday, March 16th. As of today, 138,000 people filed for unemployment – affected industries include the catering and accommodation sector (47,000), construction (17,000) and other economic services such as trade, maintenance and repair (13,000). Sectors with strong fluctuations in employment are particularly affected.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany wants to support businesses with 750 billion Euros in Emergency Aid

The German government presented a plan to help all kinds of businesses, including small companies, freelancers as well as large businesses. The plan includes credit guaranties as well as direct investments into companies and special financial support for hospitals. Regulations regarding Germanys short-time work and welfare programs as well as bankruptcy rules will be eased, and landlords will no longer be able to evict due to missing rent payments. The German Bundestag and Bundesrat still needs to accept the plans.