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Ambulance calls to Amazon warehouses ‘rise ahead of Black Friday’, union claims

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Ambulance calls to Amazon warehouses 'rise ahead of Black Friday', union claims

According to a trade union survey, the number of ambulances to Amazon warehouses in the UK rises by almost half in November and December.

GMB, which obtained information through Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, claimed a nearly 50 percent increase in emergency calls coincided with the lead-up to Black Friday.

Amazon said most of the ambulance calls to its buildings were related to pre-existing conditions.

The union said monthly data from four NHS ambulance trusts covering major Amazon sites in the north west of England, the East Midlands, London and Wales shows that November was the worst month for emergency calls over a five-year period, asking an increase of 46 percent from the previous month.

Averaged over a five-year period, there were 67 calls in November and 59 in December, down from a low of 24 in April.

The union suggested the increase in ambulance calls came as “workers desperately race to meet their crushing targets”.

But an Amazon UK spokesperson dismissed the figures as “incomplete” and said they have not recorded whether or not ambulance calls were for injuries occurring in the workplace.

“Again, our critics are using incomplete information without context and intended to deliberately mislead,” the spokesperson said.

“We know we are not perfect and are getting better every day, but the fact is that Amazon has an average of 40 per cent fewer injuries compared to other transport and warehousing companies in the UK.

“The vast majority of ambulance calls to our buildings relate to pre-existing conditions, not work-related incidents, and as a responsible employer we will always call an ambulance if anyone needs medical attention.

“Instead of arguing with critics who are not interested in facts or progress, we continue to listen to our 55,000 employees, take their feedback and work hard to continue to invest and improve for the long term.”

The GMB figures were revealed as the union prepared to stage protests outside Amazon sites in the UK on Friday, in Coalville, Coventry, Peterborough and London.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said: “While most people enjoy their Black Friday sales, Amazon employees are being pushed beyond the limits of human stamina.

“Every year, ambulances shoot at Amazon sites like rockets as workers race desperately to hit their crushing targets.

“The horrifying evidence here is in black and white — ambulance crews are being called to Amazon sites nearly 50 percent more in November.

“Workers break bones, have pain at the end of a shift and are excluded from work due to raising covid complaints.”

He added that it was “time for Amazon” [to] sit down with their union GMB and make Amazon a great, safe place to work.”

Earlier this week, the daily mirror reported that between January 2018 and August 2021, there were 971 ambulance calls to 24 Amazon warehouses — equating to five a week.

Last year, a separate investigation found that more than 600 people who worked in Amazon’s warehouses had been seriously injured or narrowly avoided an accident in the past three years.

The figures, also obtained by GMB, revealed a case where an employee was knocked unconscious and stopped breathing.

Amazon responded at the time that their facilities were safe workplaces. “Again, our critics seem determined to misrepresent what it’s like to work for Amazon,” a company spokesperson said.

Amazon achieved global sales of more than $4.8 billion (£3.6 billion) from Black Friday to Cyber ​​Monday in 2020, an increase of more than 60 percent from the previous year.

Data from Statista shows that £9.42 billion is expected to be spent this year in the UK alone over the Black Friday weekend.

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Money Heist professor says ‘Namaste India’ while thanking fans. View | Trending

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Money Heist professor says 'Namaste India' while thanking fans.  View |  Trending

Netflix India took to YouTube to share the video featuring Professor and other characters from the Money Heist series.

After a long and arduous journey that won the hearts of people around the world, the Netflix series Money Heist finally came to an end on Friday. The show’s conclusion also prompted many to share various posts on various social media platforms. Among them, there is also a video shared by Netflix India on their official YouTube channel. The clip shows some of the actors from the series thanking their fans in India. However, what has won the hearts of the people is Alvaro Morte, who plays the role of professor and says, ‘Namaste India.’

“Gracias India! The cast of Money Heist are blown away and are here to thank their Indian fans,” reads the caption posted along with the video.

Have a look at the video:

The video was shared a day ago. Since the video was posted, it has racked up over 1.5 million views and the number is only increasing. While responding to their own post, Netflix India further added: “When Professor said “Namaste”, our hearts skipped a beat.”

“Professor steals our hearts with his intelligence and Berlin with his elegance. I love you both. This series will remain in our hearts forever,” wrote one YouTube user. “Also Professor Namaste from INDIA,” commented another. “The professor’s Namaste actually sounds like us Indians would say it. I can’t believe the series has come to an end,” said a third.

What’s your take on the video?

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Fitbit’s Charge 5 tracker is back on sale for an all-time high of $130 at Amazon

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Jon Fingas

All products recommended by Engadget have been selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you missed a Fitbit during the Black Friday sale, don’t worry – there are now some great deals to help you stay in shape during the holiday season. The Charge 5 has returned to a record-low price from $130 at Amazon, or $50 under the usual sticker. That could make it a solid bargain if you’re looking for a high-quality fitness-focused activity tracker from a well-known name. The Inspire 2 is also out up to $60 (normally $100) if you’re happy with the essentials.

Buy Charge 5 from Amazon – $130
Buy Inspire 2 at Amazon – $60

The Charge 5 ticks many of the boxes if you’re determined to stay in shape. The extensive fitness and health tracking features help, especially if you get the advanced data from Fitbit Premium. For example, you can optimize your training performance and gain insight into your sleep quality. In addition to your heart rate and blood oxygen level, you can also track your stress and you get extras such as GPS, Fitbit Pay and a multi-day battery life.

There are limitations. Fitbit doesn’t share activity data with Apple Health or Google Fit, and you can’t control music from the tracker’s screen. There’s also the issue of competition: you can find some adequate alternatives from companies like Amazfit, Xiaomi and Amazon themselves that cost less (at least up front) if you can do it without some frills. Fitbit’s experience in the field matters, though, and the retail price makes the Charge 5 significantly more tempting.

To follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

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Deteriorating weather could freeze fans ahead of West Final, Environment Canada warns

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Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Winnipeg, which could affect fans attending Sunday’s CFL West Final between the Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders, with rapidly deteriorating conditions expected from Sunday afternoon to Sunday evening.

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A low pressure area currently developing in Montana is expected to move southeast through the Dakotas and Minnesota Saturday night and Sunday night, Environment Canada said Saturday.

In southern Manitoba, snow is expected to fall 2-4 inches Sunday and Sunday night, with total snowfall along the US border reaching 4-8 inches, triggering a blizzard warning for much of the Pembina Valley. An Arctic cold front will move south through the southern half of the province on Sunday afternoon. With this front, winds will shift from east to north around noon and increase to 40 gusts to 60 gusts at 3 p.m. and to 50 gusts to 70 gusts at 6 p.m.

Combined with the recent and falling snow, visibility is expected to decrease briefly in the late afternoon and throughout Sunday night in drifting snow to less than 800m. Afternoon temperatures are expected to drop by about 10 degrees from near -5 Celsius to nearly -15 Celsius in the late afternoon to early evening.

Collisions will make travel more difficult as blowing snow reduces visibility. Drivers are advised to be prepared to adapt their driving style to changing road conditions.

Please refer to public forecasts and warnings on the WeatherCAN app or www.weather.gc.ca for updates. For highway and travel conditions, see www.manitoba511.ca.

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