Amazon’s new boxes can transform into cat condos, rocket ships and more fun creations

LOS ANGELES - As Amazon’s sales continue to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company released on Thursday a new initiative to reduce the materials used for sending out packages and provide instructions on how to reuse the boxes in a fun way.“Less packaging, more smiles” is Amazon’s new program that includes a call to action to use less packaging material and shrink the boxes to fit orders more often.The new packaging system will also include a QR code that directs customers to specific instructions on how to transform the box into a cat condo, rocket ship, fort and more.“When our packaging uses less material, weighs less, and is the right size to protect customer orders, we can pack more orders into each delivery, resulting in fewer trips, less fuel burned— all of which minimize our carbon footprint,” read Amazon’s statement.“We are committed to sustainability because we care about planet earth.

'Career opportunities:' Amazon hiring for 500 new full-time positions at Beloit fulfillment center

BELOIT, Wis. -- The new Amazon fulfillment center in Beloit is now hiring more than 500 full-time positions.“As a Wisconsinite, I’m thrilled to be returning home to Beloit to open our new fulfillment center,” said Amazon Site Manager for Beloit, Jason Berg. “We look forward to providing the community with 500 jobs, creating a wide range of career opportunities with industry leading pay and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.”“The City of Beloit warmly welcomes Amazon to our community.

Amazon will stop selling Redskins merchandise

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Amazon will stop selling Washington Redskins merchandise after the football team said it would undergo a review of its name, which is considered a racial slur.The Seattle-based online shopping giant informed sellers Wednesday morning that it would be pulling Redskins merchandise from its online marketplace.

Amazon driver abandons delivery van, says he quits in viral tweet

DETROIT -- A Detroit-area Amazon delivery driver on Monday, June 29 said he abandoned a van full of packages at a gas station in a tweet that has since gone viral.Derick Lancaster, known as @_lilderick on Twitter, said in a Monday tweet that he "quit" his job at Amazon and shared the location of his abandoned delivery van "full of gas wit the keys in the IGNITION," followed by another tweet sharing a photo of the parked van."Mentally, my health -- I just couldn't keep working 13 hours a day for that company," Lancaster told FOX Business.His tweet went viral and now has hundreds of thousands of likes and comments from other users expressing concerns about delayed packages while others cheered Lancaster for the move.In a video posted later on Monday, Lancaster says he's not "about to keep waking up at 9 " and getting home at 10 ," then doing it all over again the next day.

Amazon, Lowe’s give 'thank you' bonuses to frontline US employees as coronavirus cases surge

SEATTLE -- Amazon, Lowe’s and other major companies have announced bonuses for employees working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic as the number of newly confirmed cases surge in the U.S. and elsewhere.Amazon announced Monday it will provide a one-time “thank you” bonus to all employees of Amazon and Whole Foods Market, which the company purchased in 2017, and partners who have been with the company since at least June 1 — totaling more than $500 million.Full-time Amazon employees, Whole Foods Market employees and delivery service partner drivers will all receive a $500 bonus, while those in part-time roles will receive $250.

Amazon bans police use of its face recognition for a year

NEW YORK — Amazon on Wednesday banned police use of its face-recognition technology for a year, making it the latest tech giant to step back from law-enforcement use of systems that have been criticized for incorrectly identifying people with darker skin.The Seattle-based company did not say why it took action now.

Amazon reportedly delays Prime Day event until September

SEATTLE -- Amazon may postpone its annual Prime Day event until September as the company works to regain its footing amid an unexpected spike in online orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.The two-day shopping event is typically held in July, but keeping up with customer demand and a strain on the company’s warehouses have led to it being postponed, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.Prime Day, launched in 2015, was created to drum up sales during sluggish summer months and to secure new Prime members.

Amazon executive says he quit to protest employee firings

NEW YORK — An Amazon executive says he quit his job at the online retail giant to protest the firing of employees who spoke up about the conditions inside Amazon’s warehouses and the company’s record on climate change.Tim Bray, a vice president at the company, wrote in a blog post that he left his job last week “in dismay” after Amazon fired several workers who publicly criticized the company.He said the firings were “evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture.” Amazon, which is based in Seattle, declined to comment.

Amazon to extend ‘work from home’ policy for eligible employees through October

SEATTLE — Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon is extending its work from home plan for eligible employees through October.According to The Seattle Times, the retail giant told its corporate employees on Thursday that they “are welcome to (work from home) until at least October 2.”“We are working hard and investing significant funds to keep those who choose to come to the office safe through physical distancing, deep cleaning, temperature checks, and the availability of face coverings and hand sanitizer,” an Amazon spokesperson told the Times.Many Amazon employees have been working from home since March.

NFL renews Thursday night streaming deal with Amazon

NEW YORK — The NFL has renewed its streaming deal with Amazon for Thursday night games for three years.Amazon Prime Video and Twitch also will have exclusive streaming rights to one additional regular-season game in 2020.Amazon Prime Video and Twitch will stream 11 Thursday night games broadcast by Fox, giving access to more than 150 million paid Prime members.The regular-season weekend game streamed on those outlets will be played on a Saturday in the second half of the schedule.

Pandemic brings fortunes to Amazon - and headaches too

NEW YORK -- Amazon has spent years honing the business of packing, shipping and delivering millions of products to doorsteps around the world.Now it has a captive audience.With much of the globe in various stages of a lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, the world's largest online retailer has become a lifeline to many shoppers.

Amazon, Instacart, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, FedEx workers plan 'May Day Strike'

SEATTLE -- Workers from large companies such as Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods are planning a walk-out strike for May 1, according to a report from The Intercept, noting that participating employees will call in sick or walk off during their lunch break.A flyer for the “May Day General Strike” was shared by Christian Smalls on Twitter.“Protect all workers at all cost we are not expendable or replaceable enough is enough TAKE THE POWER BACK!” Smalls wrote in his tweet.News of gig workers striking and protesting due to workplace conditions and complaints over lack of necessary protective equipment have been common amid the COVID-19 pandemic.Shoppers for Instacart previously went on strike in March, and Amazon employees across the country had gone on strike with complaints that the company had not done enough to protect its employees amid the pandemic.

President Trump: Postal Service must charge Amazon more, or no loan

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that he won't approve a $10 billion loan for the U.S. Postal Service unless the agency raises charges for Amazon and other big shippers to four to five times current rates.“The Postal Service is a joke because they’re handing out packages for Amazon and other internet companies and every time they bring a package, they lose money on it,” President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.The president was responding to a question about reports his administration plans to force major changes in postal operations as the price for approving a $10 billion loan that was included in the government’s $2 trillion economic rescue package.Under the rescue package legislation, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin must approve the loan before the Postal Service can receive the money.

Streaming video, online retailers escape pandemic pounding

NEW YORK — COVID-19 may have knocked U.S. stocks into a bear market and pummeled the U.S. economy, but the disease has also left some companies asking the question: “What recession?”Streaming media services, video game makers, and consumer staples companies have all gained ground as people stay home, try to stay entertained and focus on essentials.