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Amazon delivery drivers say they feel pressure to drive dangerously, urinate in bottles, and sprint on the job

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  • Some drivers who deliver packages for Amazon told Business Insider they speed, blow stop signs, and skip meal and bathroom breaks to complete deliveries on time.
  • The drivers we interviewed are managed by third-party courier companies that work out of Amazon facilities. Amazon provides the companies with packages, delivery routes, navigation software, and scanning devices.
  • Ann Chval said female drivers at Amazon-affiliated delivery company JARS TD brought buckets and baby wipes to work so they could go to the bathroom inside their trucks.
  • “We sped like crazy, everyone I know,” said Donato DiGiulio, a Chicago-area driver. “That’s the only way we were able to finish our routes on time.”
  • Amazon said drivers are encouraged to take breaks any time they need.

Some drivers who deliver packages for Amazon say they feel pressured to speed, blow stop signs, and skip meal and bathroom breaks to complete deliveries on time.

In interviews with Business Insider, nine current or recently employed drivers of Amazon-affiliated courier companies complained about workers urinating in bottles, bags, or outside to save time on the road. The drivers we interviewed are managed by third-party courier companies that work out of Amazon facilities. Amazon provides the companies with packages, delivery routes, navigation software, and scanning devices.

Marvic Trejo, a driver who has worked for two courier companies delivering packages for Amazon, said he’s found bottles of urine in delivery vans and at the Amazon facilities where he loads packages.

“It’s disgusting,” he said in an interview with Business Insider. “There’s no place in society to have people pissing in a bottle. The worst part about it is people don’t even throw it away. They just throw it on the ground.”

He recalled one-day last summer when a female worker refused to deliver her route because the air-conditioning in her U-Haul was broken on a sweltering day.

Trejo said he would cover for her. When he climbed into the van, he smelled an overpowering stench and spotted bottles of urine in the passenger side, baking in the heat.

“It was one of the most disgusting experiences I have had to go through,” he said.

Hector Rivera, a former driver for Amazon-affiliated Thruway Direct, said he’s also found discarded bottles of urine in the trucks he’s driven.

“Everybody has to go through that — they have to pee in bags or stop somewhere and use bottles, and then they would leave it there in the van. It was disgusting,” Rivera said. Thruway Direct did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Ann Chval said female drivers at Tennessee-based JARS TD, an Amazon-affiliated delivery company where she briefly worked as a driver in 2017, brought buckets and baby wipes to work so they could go to the bathroom inside their trucks. Once, a male driver urinated on a customer’s lawn in front of her, she said. JARS TD did not respond to requests for comment.

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Amazon said drivers are encouraged to take breaks any time they need.

(Hayley Peterson/Business Insider)

The drivers we interviewed are managed by third-party courier companies that work out of Amazon facilities. Amazon provides the companies with packages, delivery routes, navigation software, and scanning devices.

Amazon spokeswoman Amanda Ip said most drivers complete routes in a reasonable time frame, and that drivers are encouraged to take breaks any time they need. The company factors a 30-minute lunch break and two additional 15-minute breaks into daily routes for drivers.

“The majority of drivers complete their daily routes in under nine hours, which factor in breaks, traffic patterns and more,” Ip said. “And in cases where inclement weather or traffic may impact a driver’s ability to complete a customer delivery on-time, Amazon works closely with delivery service providers to make adjustments to their delivery route and, if necessary, DSPs call drivers to return to the station.”

Claims of drivers urinating in bottles does not reflect the standards Amazon has for its delivery service providers, the company said.

One driver said he didn’t have any issues with stopping to use a restroom, however.

Jermaine Lakota Johnson, a former driver for Courier Distribution Systems, in Everett, Massachusetts, said he had flexible hours and could take as many breaks as he needed.

“It was a great job, one of my favorites actually,” Johnson said of his Amazon delivery days.

In addition to skipping meal and bathroom breaks, eight drivers employed by Amazon-affiliated delivery companies admitted to speeding regularly to complete their routes. Some said they sprinted between stops.

“We sped like crazy, everyone I know,” said Donato DiGiulio, a Chicago-area driver who worked for New York-based Need it Now for eight months. “That’s the only way we were able to finish our routes on time. We were zooming through residential areas, all of us, all the time.”

DiGiulio said he almost hit a child playing in the street during a delivery. He slowed down after that and started stopping at stop signs. But then his route times also slowed. Need it Now did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.

Eric Jeffries, a former Army combat-arms specialist, said Amazon required a three- to four-minute turnaround between deliveries when he worked for DeliverOL last year.

He said it was nearly impossible to finish a delivery route within Amazon’s nine-hour time frame. He said the delivery job was more physically and emotionally challenging than his time in the Army.

When he was delivering, Jeffries said, he would park illegally, stuff a backpack full of packages, and then physically sprint to complete deliveries on time. He said he lost 30 pounds in his first month on the job.

Jim Blanchard, a representative for DeliverOL, said drivers should not run from one stop to the next.

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Kenya listed among Sub-Saharan Africa countries with high potential for Islamic Banking

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – Kenya has been listed as one of the countries with a high potential for Sharia Finance, an Islamic banking model with several restrictions and principles that do not exist in conventional banking like interest fees.

Middle East, Africa, India, and Jersey Finance Director Faizal Bhana said Sub-Saharan Africa’s share of global Sukuk issuances is only a mere 2 percent, despite an Islamic population of more than 200 million people.

Sukuk are financial products whose terms and structures comply with Islamic law, with the intention of creating returns like those of conventional fixed-income instruments like bonds.

“When you are coming to Africa, the story is very different. Africa is home to 250 million Muslims in Sub-Saharan Africa. At the moment, the penetration for Sharia compliance finance across the continent is 21 countries providing Islamic Finance services,” he said.

Speaking to Capital Business, he revealed that the Islamic Finance industry has a compound annual growth of 11 percent since 2006, with assets worth multi-trillion shillings.

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“We need to look to all forms of financing. And Sharia compliance financing is one form and because of its links like sustainability and ethical, for government, it is an easy win,” he said.

He said there is a need for regulators to provide enabling legislation for Sharia finance services and more so for sovereign and corporate issuance of Sukuk.

The common practices of Islamic finance and banking came into existence along with the foundation of Islam.

However, the establishment of formal Islamic finance occurred only in the 20th century.

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Currently, the Islamic finance sector grows at 15-25 percent per year, while Islamic financial institutions oversee over $2 trillion.

Islamic finance strictly complies with Sharia law. Contemporary Islamic finance is based on a number of prohibitions that are not always illegal in the countries where Islamic financial institutions are operating like paying or charging interest, investing in businesses involved in prohibited activities like gambling.

Due to the number of prohibitions set by Sharia, many conventional investment vehicles such as bonds, options, and derivatives are forbidden in Islamic finance.

The two major investment vehicles in Islamic finance are equities and fixed income instruments.

 

 

 

 

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CMA okays Crown Paints’ rights issue to fund expansion

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Crown Paints head of sales Bhavesh Gandhi and CEO Rakesh Rao during the company’s launch of all-weather paints at the Trademark Hotel, March 1, 2020. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has given the nod to Crown Paints Kenya Plc to raise Sh711.80 million from shareholders via purchase of additional shares.

The regulator, in a statement yesterday, said it had approved the firm’s bid to issue and list 71,181,000 new ordinary shares on the Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE).

“The rights will be issued on the basis of one new ordinary share for every one existing share,” noted CMA.

The additional funds raised will boost the company’s financial flexibility to navigate through a tough business environment brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It would also boost the firm’s growth strategy according to the information memorandum.

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“The group’s management plans to use the rights issue funds to facilitate the development of new products, retiring of current facilities and funding regional expansion,” CMA said in a statement.

Wyckliffe Shamiah, the CMA chief executive observed that the disclosures made on the rights issue comply with the capital markets regulations and will enable investors to make an informed decision.

Mr Shamiah noted that the regulator had reviewed the application for exemptions from complying with Regulation 4 of the Capital Markets (Take Over and Mergers) Regulations, 2002 concerning the intention of the company’s major shareholders, who have undertaken to take up their full rights entitlements.

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“They are also willing to take more than their initial entitlements subject to availability during the rights issue,” said Shamiah.

Crown Paints is expected to make bi-annual updates to CMA on the use of the proceeds of the rights issue.

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Branch buys local micro finance bank

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The deal gives Century Microfinance Bank a much-needed lifeline. [Courtesy]

Branch International Ltd has acquired microfinance lender Century Microfinance Bank in a move that gives the financial technology (fintech) firm a stronger presence in the country’s financial sector.

According to regulatory filings published by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), Branch has acquired 84.89 per cent of the issued share capital in the microfinance bank.

The deal has been approved by the market regulator.

“The Competition Authority has authorised the proposed transaction as set out herein on condition that the acquirer and the target will each maintain the terms agreed with the borrowers in respect of all loans existing in their loan books at the time of the acquisition,” explained CAK in a notice in the Kenya Gazette.

The deal will further give Century Microfinance Bank a much-needed lifeline, coming in the wake of depressed earnings due to disruption from digital lenders and recently, the Covid-19 pandemic.

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According to Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data, the micro-lender recorded Sh348 million in assets as of the end of December 2019, a 19 per cent drop from Sh431 million in 2018.

The firm also recorded Sh326 million in liabilities for the year ended December 2019 with customer deposits sitting at Sh256 million during the period under review. The lender made Sh82 million in total income in 2019, the majority of it from interest on loans, fees and commissions.

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Brach International, one of the leading fintech players in the Kenyan market has over the years increased its user base across the region to more than three million.

The firm says it has disbursed more than Sh35 billion in loans, the majority of which it lent to users in its African markets in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. In 2019, Branch secured Sh17 billion in the new financing and a partnership with Visa to issue virtual pre-paid debit cards to its users.

The acquisition of Century Microfinance Bank will allow the fintech firm to deploy more solutions to grow its digital and physical foothold in the Kenyan market.

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